LIVE BLOG: Election results for Long Beach, Southern California

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District Attorney Jackie Lacey concedes defeat to challenger George Gascon

11:20 AM Friday, November 6 | District Attorney Jackie Lacey conceded defeat this morning, meaning Los Angeles voters have elected a criminal justice reformer to run the nation’s largest prosecutor’s office.

Former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon unseated two-term incumbent Lacey, who conceded around 11 a.m. Friday after a race that was seen as a referendum on reforming justice.

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey. Courtesy photo.

The race created an unusual dynamic in which Gascon, a former beat cop and police chief, was fiercely opposed by law enforcement unions and Lacey, the first woman and Black person to run the office, was criticized by Black Lives Matter activists.

Gascon vowed to bring sweeping changes to the office such as jailing only dangerous criminals and holding police officers accountable for unjustified killings.

George Gascon. Photo courtesy his campaign.

Gascon’s message resonated with voters after a summer of activism over the killing of George Floyd brought attention to the issue of police brutality and racial inequality.

Lacey ran on a more traditional law-and-order platform focused on public safety.

The Associated Press

Long Beach candidates maintain leads as votes continue to trickle in

7:44 AM Friday, November 6 | As county elections officials continue to count the last batches of mail-in and conditional ballots, none of Long Beach’s races have shifted in major ways.

All three leading City Council candidates—Cindy Allen in District 2, Suely Saro in District 6 and Al Austin in District 8—maintained comfortable leads. Although the closest of those three races, District 2, tightened slightly, with Cindy Allen now leading with 54% of the vote, down about half a percentage point from Wednesday.

Staff work around the clock at the Tally Operations Center in Downey where all of LA County’s ballots are being processed for the November 2020 elections. Photo by Cheantay Jensen.

In the race for the Long Beach Unified School Board, Erik Miller (51.9%) now leads Tonia Reyes Uranga (48.1%) by about 900 votes, expanding his lead from about 600 votes on Wednesday. And for the Long Beach City College Board of Trustees seat, Herlinda Chico’s lead over Dick Gaylord grew from about 600 votes on Wednesday to more than 800 as of this morning.

There are still 791,200 votes across Los Angeles County yet to be counted, according to the Registrar-Recorder’s office, but it’s unclear how many of those are from Long Beach, whose 460,000 residents only amount to about 4.5% of the county’s population.

The number of remaining votes actually grew since Wednesday because of ballots mailed or dropped off on Election Day that are still being processed, officials said.

The Registrar-Recorder’s office said it expects to release another update this evening.

Editor’s note: This post was updated to correct the numbering of council districts 6 and 8.

Jeremiah Dobruck

County has more than 600,000 ballots left to count as of Wednesday

11:05 AM Thursday, November 5 | The Los Angeles County County Clerk Dean Logan on Wednesday said 618,200 ballots remain to be counted.

It’s not known how many of those are from Long Beach residents since the county no longer uses precincts, but the number is undoubtedly much smaller than the total.

A staff member operates the ballot paper scanner used to count L.A. county’s ballots for the November 2020 elections on Nov. 3, 2020. Photo by Cheantay Jensen.

The estimated votes left to be counted include:

  • Vote-by-mail ballots: 520,000
  • Conditional Voter Registration ballots: 87,000
  • Provisional ballots: 2,000
  • Misc. ballots: 9,200

Vote-by-mail ballots postmarked by Election Day will continue to be received through Nov. 20. These ballots are not included in the preliminary estimate.

Another update is expected later today.

Kelly Puente

A historic moment: Suely Saro on track to be first Cambodian American elected to Long Beach City Council

4:22 PM Wednesday, November 4 | The congratulating comments in the chat box came pouring in after initial election results Tuesday night showed 6th District council candidate Suely Saro in a comfortable lead against incumbent Dee Andrews to represent Central Long Beach.

Many supporters voiced their excitement for change, pointing to the 19% lead Saro secured right away as proof voters want new leadership.

Perhaps the most striking remark noting the significance of Saro’s campaign and quite possible win was this: “Waiting for 45yr for this,” one supporter typed during her virtual election night party on Zoom, a sign of the times and reminder that the coronavirus pandemic is still a very real threat.

If her lead holds, Saro, a 39-year-old Cal State Los Angeles professor, is on track to become the first Cambodian American to be elected to the Long Beach City Council, a historic moment for the nation’s largest concentration of Khmer people outside of Cambodia.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

Stephanie Rivera

Long Beach sees ‘unprecedented’ voter turnout

3:55 PM Wednesday, November 4 | Long Beach is on track to see a record number of people who voted in Tuesday’s election thanks to the ease of voting by mail and short wait times at most voting centers.

While some outstanding ballots remain, City Clerk Monique De La Garza in a news conference Wednesday said she expects to see “unprecedented” numbers compared to previous years.

De La Garza said the county has so far counted 116,394 ballots that were dropped off at official ballot boxes or returned by mail, and 16,372 ballots were cast in person at the city’s 34 voting centers. Votes were still being counted, with updates planned for Wednesday afternoon.

In 2016, by comparison, 65,059 ballots were cast by mail, while 104,059 were cast in person.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE.

Kelly Puente

‘It’s time to come together’: Al Austin heading toward 3rd term in District 8

1:48 PM Wednesday, November 4 |

Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, left, and Al Austin, right, sit a room apart during a debate for the City Council District 8 seat in Long Beach Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

While local election results have not yet been certified, numbers still tricking in Wednesday morning for the District 8 Council race showed incumbent Al Austin holding a commanding lead with 7,746 votes and challenger Tunua Thrash-Ntuk collecting 5,787 votes.

“I’m honored and grateful for the opportunity to serve our great city,” Austin said. “It was a rough, hard-fought campaign.”

As the numbers stand, Austin will receive a third term to oversee areas of Long Beach that encompass Bixby Knolls and stretches into North Long Beach.

Thrash-Ntuk bested both candidates—Austin and Juan Ovalle—in the primary election in March.

“I am grateful to all of the residents who engaged in this campaign and participated in our democratic process. The voters have spoken, and I would like to congratulate Councilmember Austin on his campaign,” Thrash-Ntuk said in a statement.

Thrash-Ntuk was supported by some of Austin’s colleagues on the City Council, including Rex Richardson in the neighboring 9th District, along with the powerful Unite Here Local 11 union.

“Long Beach will need all of its leaders to work together and put our city on a path to economic recovery,” Thrash-Ntuk stated. “I look forward to continuing to be involved and find ways to contribute to our civic life.”

Austin, a union organizer, had support from dozens of other unions as well as councilmembers Suzie Price, Stacy Mungo and Mayor Robert Garcia.

“It’s very important that people voice their support and opposition,” Austin said. “Now it’s time to come together for our city.”

Sebastian Echeverry

California voters reject end of cash bail system

10:47 AM Wednesday, November 4 | California is sticking with its traditional cash bail system, rejecting a nation-leading move to rely instead on risk assessments to decide which suspects should remain jailed awaiting trial.

With more than 11 million votes counted as of Wednesday, Proposition 25 had just 45% support.

Backers had said the traditional bail system punishes the poor, who are often racial minorities, because they lack the money to buy their freedom or can least afford to pay a bail bondsman.

Opponents said the alternative’s risk assessment tools also are racially and socioeconomically biased.

The Associated Press

Incumbents holding on in tight Signal Hill City Council race

10:23 AM Wednesday, November 4 |

Signal Hill City Hall.

Early results from the 2020 election showed incumbent Signal Hill counilmembers holding on to their political seats as the challenger continues to trail close.

Lori Woods collected 2,223 votes, Robert Copeland earned 1,975 and Ed Wilson secured 1,769 as of Wednesday morning.

Challenger Terry Rogers, a Realtor, trailed closely behind Wilson with 1,677 votes.

Signal Hill, a city of about 10,000 residents, does not elect its City Council by districts, but rather at-large. The top three candidates will earn seats on the five-member City Council.

Results from Signal Hill, situated in the middle of Long Beach, also showed the sales-tax increase— Measure R—passing with 52.63% or 1,959 votes.

Sebastian Echeverry

Long Beach Democrats hold on to statewide legislative and congressional seats

10:10 AM Wednesday, November 4 | While the country continues to wait for the final results of a contentious presidential election, local seats in the State Senate and State Assembly went easily to Democratic incumbents.

Former city councilwoman Lena Gonzalez secured her position representing Long Beach and parts of Southeast Los Angeles, which she first won in a special election in 2019, following the departure of her successor Ricardo Lara, now the state’s insurance commissioner. Gonzalez, a Democrat, was challenged by fellow Democrat Elizabeth C. Castillo, who received 37.4% of votes.

Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach, will continue to represent District 70, which includes Long Beach and Catalina Island, in the State Assembly. This year marks O’Donnell’s fourth time being elected to the position, which he won with 71.8% of the vote.

The neighboring State Assembly Districts 63 and 64 also went to incumbent Democrats, Anthony Rendon and Mike Gipson, respectively, as did the seat representing State Assembly District 35, which was won by Steven Craig Bradford.

Alan Lowenthal, a Democrat, will continue to represent Long Beach and the surrounding area in Washington, D.C. after winning 63.1% of votes in the election for the 47th Congressional District. Neighboring districts 38 and 44 went to incumbents as well.

Alena Maschke

California rejects affirmative action measure

10:10 AM Wednesday, November 4 | California voters have rejected an attempt to reinstate affirmative action programs in public hiring, contracting and college admissions, keeping a 1996 ban on the government granting preferential treatment based on race and gender.

Supporters of Proposition 16 had hoped to overturn the ban amid a national reckoning over racism following the deaths of Black Americans and other people of color by police.

They say affirmative action programs would expand opportunities for people who still face systemic racism and sexism in education and at work. Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris backs the effort.

Opponents say the government should treat every person equally, and never use race, ethnicity or gender to promote or discriminate against an individual. That group includes Ward Connerly, an African American businessman and former University of California regent who spearheaded the 1996 ban.

The Associated Press

Tonia Reyes Uranga, Erik Miller remain locked in tight race for LBUSD board

8:57 AM Wednesday, November 4 |  

LBUSD Board of Education candidates for District 2 Erik Miller, left, and Tonia Reyes Uranga, right. Photos courtesy of their campaign websites.

School board seat candidate Erik Miller spent Tuesday with immediate family at his mother’s house in North Long Beach. Preparing to put his young daughter to sleep, he said in a phone interview that he was feeling excited after taking the the lead over his contender, Tonia Reyes Uranga, who was just a few percentage behind.

“It is quite humbling and rewarding to see those efforts indicative at the polls,” Miller said Tuesday night.

Wednesday morning, the race for the District 2 seat for the Long Beach Unified School District Board of Education—which includes much of West and Central Long Beach—has grown tighter as more ballots are counted. While Miller is still leading in the race with 51% of votes, overnight Reyes Uranga moved up a percentage point, and now has 48% of the votes, according to county results.

The difference between the two candidates is around 600 votes, and it’s unclear how many are left to be counted.

Reyes Uranga said in a text message Wednesday morning that she will reserve her comments after the final numbers are available.

“I understand that there’s a lot of ballots that still need to be counted, but I’m very much appreciative of the support that I’ve seen at the polls thus far,” she said.

For now, Miller said he doesn’t want to “count my chickens before they’re hatched” and will continue to “stay on alert.”

Crystal Niebla

Uber, Lyft spend big, win in California vote about drivers

8:48 AM Wednesday, November 4 | Uber, Lyft and other app-based ride-hailing and delivery services spent $200 million in a winning bet to circumvent California lawmakers and the courts to preserve their business model by keeping drivers from becoming employees eligible for benefits and job protections.

The titans of the so-called gig economy bankrolled the most expensive ballot measure in state history, which was decided Tuesday with 58% of more than 11 million voters choosing to keep drivers classified as independent contractors able to set their own hours.

Shares of both companies surged 11% to 13% before the opening bell Wednesday after the huge victory. The outcome was a defeat for labor unions that had pushed for a state law aimed directly at Uber and Lyft, mandating they provide drivers with protections like minimum wage, overtime, health insurance and reimbursement for expenses.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

The Associated Press

Gascon holds lead over Lacey in hotly contested district attorney’s race

8:47 AM Wednesday, November 4 | A progressive prosecutor promising major criminal justice reforms for Los Angeles jumped out to an early lead in the bitter race to run the county’s district attorney’s office.

Former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon led two-term incumbent DA Jackie Lacey with 54% of more than 2.7 million votes counted by Wednesday.

George Gascon. Photo courtesy his campaign.

The race is a test to see how willing Los Angeles County residents are to reform criminal justice following months of protests focused on police brutality and racial inequality.

Lacey, the first woman and Black person to hold the office, is a career prosecutor. Gascon, a Cuban immigrant who moved to LA as a teen, spent most of his career in a police uniform.

In a contest full of contradictions, Gascon’s former brethren in the police unions have contributed millions of dollars to defeat him while Black Lives Matter demonstrators have called for Lacey’s ouster.

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey. Courtesy photo.

The nonpartisan race between the two Democrats is a rematch from March when Lacey fell just shy of the majority needed in a three-way race to avoid a runoff. Gascon advanced by gaining the second-most votes between the two challengers running on reform platforms.

The campaign gained greater attention after George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police led to massive nationwide protests against police misconduct and racial injustice. Lacey lost some of her backers at the time, and Black Lives Matter protesters drew hundreds of additional supporters during weekly demonstrations they staged outside her office for failing to prosecute officers in fatal shootings.

DA apologizes for husband pointing gun at protestors on eve of election

Lacey has said Gascon has no courtroom experience and crime will increase if he wins. She has maintained that she has implemented reasonable reforms, including a conviction review unit and diverting mentally ill suspects from jail. Gascon has said those efforts have not succeeded and have clogged jails with people who should be getting mental health treatment.

Gascon, who co-authored a 2014 ballot measure to reduce some nonviolent felonies to misdemeanors, has promised more reforms to keep low-level offenders, drug users and those who are mentally ill out of jail and has said he won’t seek the death penalty.

Gascon attended Cal State Long Beach. Photo courtesy his campaign.

More than $14 million in donations have poured into the race, mostly through super PACs with no contribution limits. Gascon leads slightly in fundraising and is largely backed by wealthy justice reform supporters. Most of the money for Lacey comes from law enforcement groups across the state.

The winner will oversee the largest prosecutor’s office in the U.S.

The Associated Press

The morning after, education races remain closer than City Council contests

7:37 AM Wednesday, November 4 | After election workers counted through the night, the three front-running Long Beach City Council candidates maintained commanding leads in their races, but the contests to lead local schools were tighter.

Only a few percentage points separated the top candidates in races for the Long Beach Unified Board of Education and the Long Beach City College Board of Trustees.

LBUSD Board of Education candidates for District 2 Erik Miller, left, and Tonia Reyes Uranga, right. Graphic by Crystal Niebla.

After the last tally of votes released on election night, Erik Miller was ahead of Tonia Reyes Uranga by 605 votes for the LBUSD seat, and Herlinda Chico was ahead of Dick Gaylord by 621 ballots for the LBCC seat. Both candidates had been leading since the earliest returns, but Chico saw her head-start dwindle from about 44% to just more than 41%.

Gaylord had collected almost 40% of the vote as of Wednesday morning. The third candidate in the race, Lee Loveridge, had about 19%.

Long Beach Post editor Stephanie Rivera and Harry Saltzgaver, executive editor of the Grunion Gazette, moderate a debate with Lee Loveridge, Herlinda Chico and Dick Gaylord for the LBCC Board of Trustees Area 4 seat in Long Beach Wednesday, October 14, 2020. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Results will continue to be tallied with mail-in ballots and provisional votes still trickling in. Officials have up to 30 days after the election to tally all ballots and certify the results. In the March primaries, it took a full 30 days for the results to be clear in several of the races.

City Council races remained mostly unchanged overnight with Cindy Allen in District 2, Suely Saro in District 6 and and incumbent Councilman Al Austin in District 8 all leading by at least 9%.

Jeremiah Dobruck

Tight races for school boards, large leads in City Council races as Election Night ends

1:22 AM Wednesday, November 4 | As election night has turned into the day after, our team has been tracking the developments in races across Long Beach. Our coverage is drawing to a close for the night, with some Long Beach races remaining tight as votes continue to be counted.

Cindy Allen (54.5%), Suely Saro (58.7%) and incumbent Councilman Al Austin (57%) all have comfortable leads in the three city council races, and seem poised to win their elections if the numbers hold.

Measure US, which would place a new tax on oil production in the city to fund equity initiatives currently has an approval rate of 57.5%. It only needs just over half of voters to approve it.

The two closest races remaining in the city are at the school district level, where Eric Miller and Herlinda Chico have maintained their leads in races for the LBUSD Board of Education and the Long Beach Community College District, respectively.

Miller, at nearly 52% of the vote, leads Tonia Reyes Uranga by 673 votes. Chico, who started the night with a seven point lead, has seen it shrink with nearly every update from county election officials, but still leads Dick Gaylord by 615 votes.

Check back Wednesday morning for further updates on local races as well as potential developments with statewide ballot measures as the race for the White House.

Jason Ruiz

6th District council challenger Suely Saro leads in early results

9:17 PM Tuesday, November 3 | Early returns show educator Suely Saro defeating longtime Councilman Dee Andrews in a City Council race to represent District 6 in Central Long Beach.

With initial mail-in ballots counted as of 8:30 p.m., Saro claimed 60% of the vote, and Andrews had 41%.

If her lead holds, Saro would be the first Cambodian elected to the City Council, a significant milestone for one of the nation’s largest concentrations of Khmer people outside of Cambodia—a group that has recently mobilized for better representation.

Saro is a Cal State Los Angeles professor and was a field representative for then-state Sen. Ricardo Lara.

The results would be a stunning defeat for Andrews, who has been called the “Son of the Sixth” after spending the bulk of his 80 years in Long Beach. He is a Poly High football alum who has amassed a reliable following, and secured the endorsement of Mayor Robert Garcia in his bid for a fourth term on the City Council.

Andrews has seen recent controversy over alleged threats made to then Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez, as well as his involvement in a bingo operation this year that violated city health orders and has seen turmoil in his district office.

In the primary this March, Saro received 45% of the votes while Andrews came in a distant second with 29%.

Stephanie Rivera

Erik Miller takes lead in tight race for LBUSD school board seat, early results show

8:46 PM Tuesday, November 3 |

LBUSD Board of Education candidates for District 2 Erik Miller, left, and Tonia Reyes Uranga, right. Graphic by Crystal Niebla.

Voters are favoring a political newcomer over a longtime public servant in a tight race for an open seat on the Long Beach Unified School District Board of Education, early ballot returns show.

With mail-in ballots counted, Erik Miller, a nonprofit director, took an early lead over his opponent, Tonia Reyes Uranga, a former two-term city councilwoman. As of 8:30 p.m., he has won 52.2% of the vote to Reyes Uranga’s 47.8%.

The two are vying to represent District 2 on the LBUSD board, which includes much of West and Central Long Beach.

The winner of the race will join a board that is navigating contentious decisions brought by the coronavirus pandemic such as reopening in-person instruction and likely budget cuts.

The Teachers Association of Long Beach, which backed Miller, has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars in endorsements to Miller for most of his campaign.

Reyes Uranga, meanwhile, has been supported by much of the Long Beach establishment, including council members Rex Richardson, Mary Zendejas, Jeannine Pearce and her husband, Roberto Uranga; congress members Alan Lowenthal and Lou Correa;  and Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, according to her campaign website.

Crystal Niebla

Herlinda Chico leading in race to represent LBCC Area 4

8:45 PM Tuesday, November 3 | Herlinda Chico appears poised to become the newest member of the Long Beach Community College District Board of Trustees as early election night results show her with a nearly eight-point lead lead over Dick Gaylord and Lee Loveridge.

Chico, a field representative for Supervisor Janice Hahn, held about 44% of the early returns while Gaylord (36.6%) and Loveride (19%) trailed after the first report from Los Angeles County election officials.

A visibly excited Chico celebrated the results on a Zoom call Tuesday night.

“That’s a great start,” she said. “Oh my god, I’m so excited.”

If Chico is able to maintain his lead over his competitors, she would join the five-person board that controls the two-campus college’s budget, a task that will be made more difficult as state funding to community colleges is expected to shrink due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Chico has served as a staffer for Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn previous to her run for the LBCCD Board. Chico was backed by establishment politicians, including Mayor Robert Garcia and dozens of other elected officials in the state.

Figures are not expected to be certified by Los Angeles County election officials until the end of the month, but Tuesday’s early results reflect over three million early votes as well as 54% of the ballots issued by the county for the race for this particular district.

LBCC’s Area 4 seat encompasses much of southeast Long Beach as well as portions of the city just west of the Long Beach Airport. The seat was vacated when former Trustee Doug Otto was elected to the Long Beach Unified School District Board of Education in March.

Long Beach Post editor Stephanie Rivera and Harry Saltzgaver, executive editor of the Grunion Gazette, moderate a debate with Lee Loveridge, Herlinda Chico and Dick Gaylord for the LBCC Board of Trustees Area 4 seat in Long Beach Wednesday, October 14, 2020. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Jason Ruiz

Measure US oil tax shows lead in early results

8:43 PM Tuesday, November 3 | Early results for Long Beach’s Measure US oil tax showed a strong lead with 61,782 votes, or 61.5% in favor, compared to 38.5% against the measure. The measure raises the tax rate on oil suppliers, which proponents say will raise funds to address racial inequities in the city, including community and youth programs.

Measure US would double the city’s general tax on business licenses for oil production to 30 cents per barrel.

An impartial analysis by the city attorney’s office estimates that the tax, if approved, could generate approximately $1.6 million in new revenue for the city’s general fund.

Kelly Puente

Early returns show Cindy Allen with lead over Robert Fox in District 2 council race

8:38 PM Tuesday, November 3 | Early results for the race to represent District 2 show businesswoman and former police officer Cindy Allen in a lead over Robert Fox, a local Realtor and businessman.

Allen has claimed roughly 56% of the vote, or 6,459 votes, while Fox has 42.29%, for 5,134 votes.

The votes counted so far counted include all of the vote by mail ballots received by county election officials received before Election Day, as well as the in-person votes cast during the early voting period that began on Oct. 24.

The tight race for the district that represents parts of the city’s Downtown waterfront has been marred with mudslinging, accusations of fraud and dueling complaints filed with the Fair Political Practices Commission. In the March primary, Fox won a slight lead with 3,057 votes, compared to Allen’s 2,984.

From left, Cindy Allen and Robert Fox.

Kelly Puente

Early results show Al Austin leading challenger in District 8 Council race

8:30 PM Tuesday, November 3 |

Incumbent Al Austin (left) and challenger Tunua Thrash-Ntuk (right) are vying for the District 8 council seat in the Nov. 3 2020 election.
Photo courtesy from their respective campaigns.

Early results show incumbent Councilman Al Austin leading in the District 8 council race against Tunua Thrash-Ntuk to represent parts of North Long Beach and Bixby Knolls on the City Council.

With mail-in ballots counted shortly after 8 p.m., numbers showed Austin leading with 56% of the vote. Thrash-Ntuk claimed 44% of the vote.

The votes counted so far counted include all of the vote by mail ballots received by county election officials received before Election Day, as well as the in-person votes cast during the early voting period that began on Oct. 24.

Austin is seeking a third term on the council.

The contest between Thrash-Ntuk and Austin has been heated from the start, with Thrash-Ntuk besting the incumbent and third challenger in the March primary. Supporters of both candidates have spent thousands on negative attack ads and mailers.

Thrash-Ntuk was supported by some of Austin’s colleagues on the City Council, including Rex Richardson in the neighboring 9th District, along with the powerful Unite Here Local 11 union. Austin, a union organizer, had support from dozens of other unions as well as councilmembers Suzie Price, Stacy Mungo and Mayor Robert Garcia.

Sebastian Echeverry

Top county election official said voting is ‘running smoothly’

5:48 PM Tuesday, November 3 | Officials said things were running smoothly today at the 793 Los Angeles County polling places, where steady streams of voters did not experience wait times longer than 15 minutes.

More than 76,000 voters cast ballots in the morning at county polling places, adding to a record number of votes already cast through the mail and early voting. Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean C. Logan said those 76,000 votes cast in the four hours after the polls opened will be counted on top of 2.6 million vote-by-mail ballots that were returned as of Monday and more than 535,000 ballots cast during the 10-day early voting period.

Logan added that he hoped voters don’t delay in case those wait times increase closer to the 8 p.m. poll closing time. Current wait times wereavailable on the LAVotes.net website.

“Do not delay. It’s Election Day, there’s been a lot of excitement building up to this,” Logan said late Tuesday morning. “We had a lot of activity during the 10-day early voting period and certainly unprecedented activity with our vote-by-mail ballots, but there are still a lot of voters out there who have ballots in their hands or who are planning to vote today. We want to remind those voters: Do not wait until late tonight to go to your vote center.”

Because the county mailed ballots to every registered voter and offered early voting, Logan said a record number of ballots will be part of the initial counts reported after the polls close.

A tally of all vote-by-mail ballots—including those deposited in drop boxes—received prior to the Saturday before Election Day will be released within 30 minutes of the polls closing. A short time later, a tally is expected to be released of all in-person ballots cast at vote centers ahead of Election Day.

That first return is likely to include as many as 2 million ballots.

City News Service

No wait time at polls today as many voted early or mailed ballots

2:55 PM Tuesday, November 3 | More than 76,000 voters cast ballots this morning at Los Angeles County polling places, adding to a record number of votes already cast through the mail and early voting.

Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean C. Logan said those 76,000 votes cast in the four hours after the polls opened will be counted on top of 2.6 million vote-by-mail ballots that were returned as of Monday and more than 535,000 ballots cast during the 10-day early voting period.

Logan said a record number of ballots will be part of the initial counts reported after the polls close. A tally of all vote-by-mail ballots—including those deposited in drop boxes—received prior to the Saturday before Election Day will be released within 30 minutes of the polls closing. A short time later, a tally is expected to be released of all in-person ballots cast at vote centers ahead of Election Day.

Officials have 30 days after the election to tally all ballots and certify the results.

Logan said things were running smoothly at the 793 county polling places, where steady streams of voters did not experience wait times longer than 15 minutes.

Voters wait in line at Houghton Park Community Center in North Long Beach to cast their ballots on Election Day. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

It’s unclear exactly how many Long Beach voters chose to vote in person today, but wait times at Long Beach polling places have been in line with other locations in the county.

Still, Logan encouraged voters not to delay their trip to the ballot box until the last minute.

“Do not delay. It’s Election Day, there’s been a lot of excitement building up to this,” Logan said late this morning. “We had a lot of activity during the 10-day early voting period and certainly unprecedented activity with our vote-by-mail ballots, but there are still a lot of voters out there who have ballots in their hands or who are planning to vote today. We want to remind those voters: Do not wait until late tonight to go to your vote center.”

City News Service

At the polls, voter excitement works against fear

1:03 PM Tuesday, November 3 | While fear and anxiety permeate the atmosphere around the national election, some Long Beach residents are trying to stay positive.

Deborah Packett just got off her night shift as a registered nurse and immediately went to the Museum of Latin American Art to vote. Afterward, she excitedly asked a poll worker to take her photo Tuesday morning.

“I just feel like this day is going to go down in history,” she said to the workers there. She posed in her mask and scrubs, making a peace sign with one hand.

Poll worker Liz Perez takes a photo for Deborah Packett at the Museum of Latin American Art voting center on Nov. 3, 2020. Photo by Valerie Osier.

“Everyone’s been divided; I just hope the country heals,” she later said, adding that “It’s a real ’60’s moment.”

Poll workers at MOLAA said the vote center has been fun and lively with volunteers ranging from 17 to 76 years old.

They’ve gotten a lot of first-time voters and new citizens voting Tuesday, according to one worker, Liz Perez. She said they clap whenever a first-time voter casts their ballot.

Valerie Osier

Voting is smooth so far in Long Beach with just a few early lines

12:59 PM Tuesday, November 3 | Thousands of Long Beach voters have already cast their ballots in person today. So far, they experienced only short lines and minor hiccups such as paper jams.

“We had some early voters who came at 6 a.m. Fortunately, we have 48 stations that allow them to be in and out quickly,” said Brilliant Mamyere, the Powell Academy of Success vote center lead. “Early voting helped because it gave us more time to practice and get better.”

Click here for more voting stories.

Voters wait in line at Houghton Park Community Center in North Long Beach to cast their ballots on Election Day. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

Brandon Richardson

Amid a contentious election, first-time voters are hitting the polls

11:05 AM Tuesday, November 3 | Poll workers tending to a vote center at the Museum of Latin American Art said they’d seen a steady stream of first-time voters and new citizens casting their ballots this morning. And it was cause for celebration.

“We clap when people are first-time voters,” said Liz Perez, one of the staffers.

Perez wasn’t alone in welcoming new faces to the polls. At Houghton Park first-time voters Cynthia Duran, 18, and her sister Judith, 21, cast their ballots.

“We felt powerful being able to vote for the first time,” they said. “We felt like part of something great and we’re happy to make a change.”

First-time voters Cynthia Duran, 18, and her sister Judith, 21, cast their ballots at Houghton Park in North Long Beach. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

In Norwalk, it was Victoria Najera’s first time, too. “I’ve been waiting so long for this day,” the 18-year-old Cerritos College student said, after she dropped off a ballot outside the Los Angeles County registrar’s headquarters in Norwalk. “I feel like I’m making a change, just one vote at a time.”

The young adults are among many whose early votes reflect the higher engagement of young voters this year. Just under 6.18 million youth aged 18 to 34 are registered to vote this year, up from 4.45 million in 2016, according to the U.S. Census and Political Data, Inc.

Young voters still don’t vote as often as their elders, despite this year’s higher engagement.

As of Monday, 38% of registered voters between the ages of 18 to 34 had turned in their ballots, more than 2.36 million voters. That compares to 47% of those between 35 to 49 years, 58% of those between 50 to 64 years, and 72% of seniors 65 and older, according to Political Data Inc.

Pollworkers at the Museum of Latin American Art assist voters with their ballots. Photo by Valerie Osier.

A July YouGov-University of California poll shows engagement went beyond registration. It found that 60% of surveyed youth encouraged friends or family to vote for a presidential candidate, and more than half encouraged others to vote for a local or statewide candidate.

“I just want our country to be our country again,” Najera said of her decision to vote. “It’s inhumane how our country has become.”

This coverage is made possible through Votebeat, a nonpartisan reporting project covering local election integrity and voting access. In California, CalMatters is hosting the collaboration with the Fresno Bee, the Long Beach Post and the UC Graduate School of Journalism. CalMatters is a nonpartisan, nonprofit journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters.

Michael Lozano, Brandon Richardson and Valerie Osier contributed to this report.

Staff Reports

LGBTQ Center Long Beach will have additional counselors ready after the election

9:57 AM Tuesday, November 3 | The LGBTQ Center Long Beach will have additional counselors available on Wednesday, Nov. 4 and Thursday, Nov. 5 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. to anyone in the community who needs support following Tuesday’s election.

People can call The Center at 562-434-4455 to be connected with a counselor who can provide support and resources free of charge.

Officials said in a press release that year’s election cycle has triggered many emotions and fears for the LGBTQ community.

Other resources in Long Beach include The Guidance Center, or check out the city’s mental health resource guide.

Staff Reports

Trump or Biden? A victory for either could cost Long Beach—just in different ways

9:35 AM Tuesday, November 3 | While most Americans will be tuned into Tuesday’s presidential election awaiting what the results will mean for the future of the country, the results could have an unusually significant impact on Long Beach’s local political scene for years to come.

Former Vice President Joe Biden looks over to the two towers of the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project as he tours it in Long Beach, CA. Thursday, January 9, 2020. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

If President Donald Trump is able to fend off former Vice President Joe Biden and win a second term, and Republicans are able retain control of the U.S. Senate, it could mean a slower, smaller federal push to provide cities with coronavirus relief money.

But if Biden is able to defeat Trump, it could very well set off a different chain of events that would also leave Long Beach in a financial hole—albeit a smaller one—if Mayor Robert Garcia is appointed to a position in the new administration, igniting a race to replace him.

Read the full story here.

Jason Ruiz

DOJ to monitor compliance with voting laws on Election Day in LA, Orange County

8:05 AM Tuesday, November 3 | The Justice Department will have voting-rights monitors in the field today in Los Angeles and Orange counties and throughout the country.

This is routine. The department historically has monitored in jurisdictions in the field on Election Day, and is again doing so this year. The department will also take complaints from the public nationwide regarding possible violations of the federal voting rights laws through its call center.

“Our federal laws protect the right of all American citizens to vote without suffering discrimination, intimidation, and harassment,” said Eric S. Dreiband, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division.

Voters cast ballots at the Carmelitos vote center in North Long Beach. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

On Tuesday, the Civil Rights Division plans to send personnel to 44 jurisdictions—including Orange and Los Angeles counties—in 18 states to monitor for compliance with the federal voting rights laws.

On Election Day, Civil Rights Division personnel will be available all day to receive complaints from the public related to possible violations of the federal voting rights laws by a complaint form on the department’s website: civilrights.justice.gov or by telephone toll-free at 800-253-3931.

Complaints related to disruption at a polling place should always be reported immediately to local election officials—including officials in the polling place. Complaints related to violence, threats of violence or intimidation at a polling place should be reported immediately to local authorities by calling 911.

Long Beach police are also on alert for any problems. Read about their preparations here.

City News Service

It’s finally Election Day. We’ll be bringing you live updates and results

7:00 AM Tuesday, November 3 | It’s felt more like Election Month than Election Day—but after seemingly endless, contentious campaigning and more than a week of early voting, the final stretch of the 2020 race is here.

Early voters cast their ballots at Bay Shore Community Congregational Church. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

Today is the last day to cast your ballot for president and in a host of consequential local races in Long Beach. Locally, voters will decide on imposing an oil production tax, three City Council contests, and seats on the Long Beach Unified Board of Education and Long Beach City College Board of Trustees.

More than 55% of registered voters in Los Angeles County have already cast their ballots, with expanded mail-in voting and in-person polling places that began opening back on Oct. 24. The early returns have led Long Beach officials to predict historically high turnout.

If you haven’t voted yet, there’s still time. Polls close at 8 p.m.

You can go to any of the vote centers spread across the city and county. There’s a map with wait times available here. You can also drop off your ballot at any official dropbox.

And if you need more information on local candidates and issues, check out our voter guide.

Got questions or news tips about any elections issues? Tell us what you’re seeing on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Want to talk to a reporter directly? Text or call our Voter Helpline at 562-655-POST (7678).

Jeremiah Dobruck

40 business board up pre-election, but LBPD isn’t encouraging or discouraging it, chief says

6:56 AM Tuesday, November 3 | About 40 businesses have boarded up their storefronts or buildings amid pre-election anxieties, Police Chief Robert Luna said in a Zoom meeting organized for business owners Monday evening.

As several people on the call asked the chief what they should do, Luna said police aren’t recommending they close their businesses or board up for Election Day, but they aren’t discouraging it either.

He said people should decide for themselves, but he also noted that people fortifying their buildings adds to the anxiety many are already feeling.

Read the full story here.

Valerie Osier

North Long Beach has fewer voting centers for larger population

6:55 AM Tuesday, November 3 | Despite being home to more than 23% of Long Beach residents, the 8th and 9th districts have fewer vote centers than almost every other district across the city. Historically, the two districts are comprised of largely communities of color and low-income residents.

“Patterns of disparity don’t happen by accident—they’re intentional,” 9th District Councilman Rex Richardson said. “That means the system is doing what it’s designed to do: continue to disenfranchise public participation. As California continues to tear down barriers to voting, we have to do the same thing locally.”

A resident casts their ballot early at the Houghton Park Community Center in North Long Beach. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

With a combined population of nearly 107,000, the two districts are hosting only three of the city’s 34 vote centers. The three vote centers are all in North Long Beach, which encompasses half the 8th District and all of the 9th. The 8th District has one vote center while the 9th has two.

For the full story, read more here.

Brandon Richardson

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