Speed Reads

raindrops keep fallin' on my ballot

Southern California candidates wonder if rain will keep voters at home

It's a rainy Election Day in Southern California, but the wet weather isn't keeping voters from heading to the polls.

Statewide, there are several important propositions on the ballot, including Proposition 1, which prohibits the state from denying or interfering "with an individual's reproductive freedom," and Proposition 31, which would ban the sale of most flavored tobacco in California. In Los Angeles, voters are also deciding on a new mayor, with Democratic Rep. Karen Bass and Rick Caruso, a billionaire real estate developer running as a Democrat, vying for the position.

The Los Angeles Times interviewed voters across Los Angeles, who said their top concerns were homelessness and protecting abortion rights and democracy. "Quite frankly, I'm terrified our world is coming to an end," voter Jaclyn Zeccola told the Times. "We're very lucky we live in a liberal area. But I think I'm voting in the hopes that the tide will turn nationally to where we are — where we recognize the rights that are being taken away from so many people."

The last rainy Election Day in Los Angeles was 14 years ago, the Times says, and with polls open until 8 p.m. PT, it's not yet known if the weather will hurt turnout. Bass mentioned the storm during an Instagram Live with actress Rosario Dawson, saying, "We can't lose this election because of the rain. That would be crazy."

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a law was passed in 2021 requiring every registered voter in California receive a mail-in ballot during each election. While turnout is typically lower during a midterm election compared to a presidential election, mail-in ballots could change things.

As of Monday night, about 5.1 million mail ballots had been returned, with 51 percent from Democrats, 28 percent from Republicans, and 21 percent from independents or those who do not identify as Republicans or Democrats, the consulting firm Political Data Intelligence said. Mail-in ballots must be dropped off in person at a polling place or drop box no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day, or postmarked by Election Day.