Hearing to Explore Low Voter Turnout

2048x1366Assembly Member Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, chair, Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee and Senator Ben Allen, chair, Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee will co-chair a legislative oversight hearing tomorrow morning in downtown Los Angeles to examine possible causes of low voter turnout in Los Angeles County elections.

Assembly Member Ridley-Thomas said, “Statewide voter turnout hit record lows on November 4, 2014. In that same election, less than a third of L.A. County’s registered voters cast ballots. That result put L.A. County’s voter turnout at the bottom of voter participation percentages among California’s 58 counties.”

“The big question is: Why aren’t voters in one of our most populous counties exercising their right to vote in important elections?” Assembly Member Ridley-Thomas asked.

“Senator Allen and I are seeking answers to that question when we hear from respected voter engagement experts, election officials and key community leaders,” he said.

The Joint Legislative Oversight Hearing will explore the voter participation issues surrounding City of Los Angeles Charter Amendments 1 and 2 on the March 3 ballot that, if approved by L.A. City voters, would change municipal and school district primary and general election dates to the months of June and November of even-numbered years.

Assembly Member Ridley-Thomas and Senator Allen will hear testimony from:

Honorable Alex Padilla, California Secretary of State

Dean Logan, L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk

Paul Mitchell, vice president, Political Data, Inc.

Jessica Levinson, Esq., professor, Loyola Law School – Los Angeles

Kathay Feng, member, City of L.A. Municipal Elections Reform Commission

The Joint Legislative Oversight Hearing of the Senate and Assembly Committees on Elections will convene on Friday, February 20 at 10:00 a.m. at Metro Gateway Plaza Headquarters in downtown Los Angeles (Board Room, Third Floor, One Gateway Plaza, L.A., CA 90012).

The Actors' Gang

1 Comment

  1. Thank you for posting this info.

    Countywide, the turnout in yesterday’s municipal and district elections was NINE PERCENT. In Culver City it may have been somewhat better: 4517 votes were cast by 26,021 registered voters. If every voter voted for only one candidate, this would be about 17% — still nothing to write home about. We’d need to know the number of BALLOTS cast in order to get an accurate percentage figure.

    When turnout is less than 20%, should we assume that four out of five voters trust their neighbors to make important decisions for them? When turnout is less than 10%, do nine out of ten trust their neighbors. Sadly, no. The explanation is much more subtle, and I hope Assemblyman Ridley-Thomas and his panel of experts will shed some light on it on Friday.

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