Voters Look To Internet, Ballot Literature For Candidate Information
Rochelle Howard, 34, has been a consistent voter; the only time she ever missed an election was when she was out of town. However, one thing that has been as consistent as Howard’s voting record is the relative anonymity of some candidates on the ballot, and she is hoping for some change.
“I wish I could hear more about the judges that are running because I’m always at a loss in part because I don’t hear enough about who is running for which seat and what their platform is," she said.
She couldn’t make a decision regarding the Los Angeles District Attorney’s race either. Although she heard about Carmen Trutanich on the radio, she said she's reluctant to vote without having full confidence in her candidate, even if he is the more well-known name in the race.
“I could care less that so-and-so is endorsing a particular candidate,” she said. “It’s really about whether or not I feel as if he or she could serve the community where I live.”
And part of serving the community better is helping people figure out who is on the ballot.
"It’d be nice if there were more hometown forums in the community where people could go,” Howard said. “As well as whatever was talked about at the forum, if there was a way [it could be] recorded online so that those who couldn’t come could still listen to the discussion. Online works. You get so much junk by mail, I tend to just throw it away because I have no clue who is supporting the candidate or it could be one of their political action committees.”
While Howard isn’t impressed by what she gets in the mail, fellow Pasadena voter Joseph Teltser will stop to take a second look. Teltser lives just a block away from the church and is also a committed voter and researcher.
“I’ll do some research on it and sort of see for myself what they are,” he said. “Also, it’s helpful to see what other people are interested in. I’ll look at some public figures and also friends, find out what they know and what they support or don’t support. I look at websites, but I’ll also look at certain publications and see what their recommendations are, even some things that come in the mail.”
But whether it’s research voters have to do or endorsements they have to sift through, change seems to be the keyword for 58-year-old Yvonne Schimmel as well, who came out to vote at Loma Alta Elementary School. She has lived in Alta Dena for 22 years and said she won’t be casting the same votes this year.
“I vote Democrat but I did not vote for Dianne Feinstein again because it just seems like the same old, same old,” Schimmel said. “It’s dysfunctional. I feel that, in general, they’re not communicating. They’re just pointing fingers at each other.”
Despite these strong opinions, Tuesday’s primary election is predicted to have a record low turnout, with some attributing it to a lack of controversial propositions and competitive races. Some of the top races include the fight for the Los Angeles District Attorney seat, which is without an incumbent for the first time in almost 50 years, and the head-to-head battle between Brad Sherman and Howard Berman for the 30th congressional district.