Early LA County turnout numbers show lingering disparities among neighborhoods

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People wait in line to vote at Ruben Salazar Park as the sun sets. Photo by Samanta Helou.

Over the next few weeks and probably months, the data from this election will be broken down and analyzed. For now, there is only early ballpark data, not complete demographic breakdowns.

Mindy Romero, founder and director of the Center for Inclusive Democracy at USC, says she was excited that voter turnout in California was higher than previous years, but she sees room for expanding voting access and minimizing disparities. 

Votes are still being counted, but Romero says she’s tracking communities that are substantially below the current turnout average for LA County.

“This is a reminder that there are whole communities, swaths of LA County that are underrepresented. And of course these are communities that are more of color and more low income communities. … And so it means we have more work to do,” Romero says.

Joe Matthews of Zocalo Public Square says local elections and voting access are, in a way, haunted by politics of the past.

“There’s a sense of being up against these ghosts across the ballot, and this generation is not yet fully empowered to make its full democratic choices yet because it’s up against these ghosts,” Matthews says.

Credits

Guests:
Mindy Romero - Director - @MindySRomero, Joe Mathews - Host, "Zocalo's Connecting California" - @joemmathews

Host:
Steve Chiotakis

Producers:
Christian Bordal, Jenna Kagel, Sara Fay, Angel Carreras