Wednesday, March 04, 2009

15% Turnout

(Photo by Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

239,374 ballots were cast Tuesday (or via absentee ballot) out of 1,596,165 registered voters in Los Angeles. But I guess that's what happens when people don't really feel invested in any race. I'm sure there are some voters who expressed their dislike of Antonio Villaraigosa -- and their dislike of any of his challengers, none of which could really be taken seriously -- by not showing up to the polls.

There's also the possibility that a majority of Angelenos didn't even realize there was a city vote yesterday. As far as I can tell, the local newscasts opened their 11 p.m. shows with an update on the votes... but were already on to stories such as "The Botox Bandit" by 11:06.

Strangely enough, Villaraigosa took the stage at the Westin Bonaventure before 11 p.m. to give his acceptance speech. That means the 11 p.m. newscasts didn't have to go live, and just carried a clip or two of him. I wonder: Did channels 2, 4 and 7 alert Villaraigosa's team that they had no intention of carrying his speech live? Did his people decide it would be better to go during the 10 p.m. hour, when channels 5, 9 and 11 might go live (I have no idea if they did). Or did the TV coverage not factor into when he gave his speech?

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