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California goes to the polls | A visual look at precincts and polling station as voters casts their ballots in the 2018 midterm election

California goes to the polls | A visual look at precincts and polling station as voters casts their ballots in the 2018 midterm election
Griselda Sanchez walks to the polls to vote as she is followed by the Mariachi Cuicatlan, organized by CHIRLA (The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights Los Angeles) in an effort urge others to get out to vote by serenading them in Los Angeles. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Voters began pouring into polling places across the country Tuesday in a caustic midterm election that offered Democrats their first opportunity to claw back to power in the Trump era.

Party strategists were quietly confident Democrats would gain the 23 seats needed to seize control of the House for the first time since losing the chamber in a 2010 GOP landslide.

Republicans hoped to pad their thin 51-49 Senate majority and, defying the pollsters and most pundits, hang onto the House by the most slender of margins.

Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times

Helping hand: Shantel Monk holds her brother Zachariah Johnson, 4, as she votes at the Watts Tower Arts Center in Los Angeles.

Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times

Stepping into the light: Voters check in at a polling station at the Watts Tower Art Center in Los Angeles.

Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times

Tutorial: Poll inspector Adrianna De La Rosa, right, helps guide Jose Gonzalez and his wife Socorro Gonzalez, on how to use the ballot at a polling location in Boyle Heights.

 
Mark Boster / For the Times

Ruffing it: Zelda waits for her owner, Tony Payan, to cast his ballot at the Neighborhood Congregational Church in Laguna Beach on election day.

 
Mark Boster / For the Times

Reflecting: Voters line-up at the Neighborhood Congregational Church in Laguna Beach to cast their ballots on election day.

 
Mark Boster / For the Times

Cheerleader: Harley Rouda, candidate for the 48th Congressional District greets supporters during an Election Day Get Out The Vote rally at Main Beach in Laguna Beach. Rouda is vying for the seat held by 30-year incumbent Dana Rohrabacher.

 
Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Family affair: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher walks with his family, wife Rhonda, daughters, Annika, left, Tristen, right and son, Christiran, back, as he drops off a mail-in ballot to the Boys and Girls Club of Costa Mesa.

 
Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Still dreamin': A tired 3-year- old Van Mayer rolled out of bed to vote with Mom, Jocelyn Mayer, as the polls open at the LUXE Sunset Blvd Hotel in Brentwood. Van’s next appointment is off to pre-school.

 
Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Midterm Elixir Tea: Mylien Collins sips tea before casting her ballot at the LUXE Sunset Blvd Hotel polling station in Brentwood.

 
Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Surf n' vote: Voters line up to casts their ballots at the Venice Beach Lifeguard Operations polling location near the Venice Pier.

Mark Boster / For the Times

Lunch time: Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox delivers a pizza lunch to Rep. Mimi Walters at her campaign headquarters in Newport Beach on Election Day. Walters the incumbent Republican candidate for the 45th Congressional District is being challenged by Democrat Katie Porter.

 
Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Cameras rollin': Katie Hill is running for Congress in Calif.'s 25th Congressional District cast her ballot under the watchful eye of the media at Shepherd Of The Hills Church in Agua Dulce.

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Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Passing through: Firefighter paramedic Brice Reiner weaves his way through voters and polling stations as he arrives for his shift at Orange County Fire Station 32 in Yorba Linda.

3064395_ME_1106_Cisneros_Voting_IK
Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Decision time: Aimee Kungl goes over her choices while waiting in line to vote at Orange County Fire Station 32 in Yorba Linda.

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