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Locals turn out for state, county contests in June 5 primary election

Locals turn out for state, county contests in June 5 primary election
La Cañada Flintridge resident Peggy Williams receives information on mail-in ballots from poll worker Eva Spurlock at the Foothill Municipal Water District polling place Tuesday, June 5, 2018. (Photo by Sara Cardine)

La Cañada voters hit the polls Tuesday to weigh in on a number of regional contests and statewide initiatives, casting ballots in California’s primary election.

Despite the increasing statewide trend of casting vote-by-mail ballots, a number of La Cañadans could be found at their polling places Tuesday afternoon, clicking away at their picks the old-fashioned way.

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Among them was Peggy Williams, who made the short trip to Foothill Municipal Water District headquarters on Hampton Road after working out at the Y. Clad in an American flag tank top, the faithful voter cast her ballot and inquired about mail-in options.

“I do like coming in, but there’s been a time or two when I was out of town, and if I’m out of town I can’t vote,” Williams said. “So I thought I’d get the information.”

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Luckily, La Cañada resident Eva Spurlock, an inspector overseeing operations, was on hand to answer questions about vote-by-mail and provisional ballots. A poll worker for the past 20 elections, she said she was happy to serve.

“I think it’s a responsible thing to do,” said Spurlock, who brought adult son Collin Chersi to volunteer with her Tuesday. “It exposes you to the true democratic process.”

More California voters are opting to send in ballots by mail — figures from the Secretary of State’s Office show nearly 58% of more than 5 million voters requested absentee ballots in 2016.

Crown Avenue resident Ernest Koeppen had a mail-in ballot but misplaced it during a major home renovation. So he and wife Denise headed down to the FMWD office to submit provisional ballots. He said the mail-in-option is pretty convenient.

“You can take your time, read everything at home and make a good decision without the pressure of waiting in line. But I kind of miss [voting in person],” Koeppen added. “I actually like coming in here.”

The L.A. County Registrar-Recorder’s Office shows a total of 13,204 La Cañada Flintridge residents were registered to vote in last year’s November election.

With few local races and ballot measures to decide Tuesday, local voters focused on nominations for higher offices and made their choices for district leaders, including California’s 28th Congressional District — where U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) led with 72.32% of the vote over Republican challenger Johnny Nalbandian’s 22%. Both candidates will move on to November’s general election.

In the race for Pasadena Area Community College’s Trustee District 1, which represents La Cañada Flintridge, west Pasadena and west Altadena, newcomer Sandra Chen Lau pulled ahead of incumbent Ross Selvidge with 59% of the vote, over his 41%.

Selvidge decided to stop campaigning in April, though his name would still appear on the ballot. Last week, with just days to go, his campaign announced his return to the race.

Tuesday’s election results have yet to be fully certified by the county’s registrar office, which has 30 days to conduct its official election canvass.

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