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Where Have All the Voters Gone?

So far today, voter turnout in Sherman Oaks has been much lower than in last year's election.

Voter turnout at three precincts in Sherman Oaks  this morning was extremely low, according to poll workers who were eager to serve when the polls opened at 7 a.m.

"I'm lonely," said Kourtney Hodgins, a precinct inspector working at the Sherman Oaks United Methodist Church at 14401 Dickens St.

"We had a much bigger crowd last year when the governor's race was on the ballot," she said.

"We've only had about six voters in two hours," said Jennifer Abolencia, an inspector in charge of another precinct.

Still most of the people who did show up to vote said that certain issues on the ballot brought them out.

"I wanted to make sure to vote for [taxing] oil production in the city," said Joe Droll, who is a computer consultant at an entertainment company.

 "I also think the city should tax places that sell marijuana. After all, those dispensaries are making money, so they should pay city taxes," said Droll as he was heading in to vote.

The issue of rising gasoline prices also played into some people's motivation to vote on Proposition O, the measure that would impose a tax of $1.44 per barrel on oil-producing businesses in the city of Los Angeles.

"The city needs money, so the oil companies should pay higher taxes on oil produced here," said Marcia Halperin. "Especially with gas prices going up and the oil companies making so much money," she added.

Some voters who showed up early were surprised there were no crowds. "I always vote every year," said Ed Greenberg standing in a short line. "It doesn't matter what the issues are, I always vote."

Meg Crocker came early to vote even though she said there were no burning issues this year. "Nothing really excited me, but still I feel a responsibility to vote," said Crocker after casting her ballot.

"Many people in Sherman Oaks vote by absentee ballot; that's one reason why there are not many people here," said a woman who declined to give her name.

There was a much bigger crowd several blocks away at Mel's Diner on Ventura Boulevard, where there didn't seem to be much interest in today's election.

"Nothing really turned me on in this election, just a lot of stuff that didn't seem too exciting," said Hugh Mullin after finishing breakfast. "Why waste my time?"

Back at the polls, precinct workers were hoping things would get busier later.

"We're going to be here till 8," said Abolencia, who works as a law clerk. "Maybe more people will show up after work."

Ev March 08, 2011 at 10:29 PM
Any election day freebies today?
Mel Powell March 09, 2011 at 12:00 AM
Gonna be very quiet around here for a while...since those who choose not to vote also give up their right to complain. The person who called voting a waste of time should take a look at places like Egypt and Libya and imagine life without the choice to waste your time at the ballot box.
Scott Killeen March 09, 2011 at 04:24 PM
The ones who don't vote complain & cry the loudest! Voting needs to be made a requirement or an incentive...the more you vote your taxes remain the same, don't vote and your taxes go up! Then the ones who don't vote would really have a reason to bitch and moan.

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