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Column: 5 reasons you probably aren’t voting today in L.A. (but hey, there’s still time)

A voter drops her ballot in a box.
A voter drops her ballot in a box outside the Los Angeles County registrar-recorder’s office in Norwalk on Monday.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

A low turnout is expected in local primary elections that could help determine who serves as the next mayor of Los Angeles and sheriff of L.A. County, and here are some possible explanations.

No. 1 — It’s a nice day

This is only a primary, and you want to go to the beach, meet some friends.

No rain in the forecast, so maybe you should wash the car.

“America’s Got Talent” is streaming on Hulu and there are only so many hours in a day.

The primary election will help determine Los Angeles’ next mayor and sheriff.

You can linger at the coffee shop for hours and challenge friends to a blind alternative milk test. OK, was that latte made with soy, oatmeal, rice or hemp milk?

Besides, it’s possible the turnout will be at or near a historic low, and you always wanted to be with the popular kids anyway.

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Here’s everything you need to know about the California primary election. How and where to vote. Who are the candidates and what are the issues?

No. 2 — You didn’t know there was an election

You heard something about it, but then your friend came over. You got busy talking about high rent, traffic, homelessness, water shortages, crime and all the other stuff somebody ought to do something about. But then your cousin’s boyfriend Instagrammed a cool meme involving his neighbor’s chihuahua, and you went down a social media rabbit hole. All of a sudden, another day was gone.

Who are the candidates running for L.A. mayor? Where do candidates stand on issues like homelessness, crime and Ukraine? Here’s what you need to know.

No. 3 — You don’t know where you live

You heard that Karen Bass, Rick Caruso and Kevin de León are running for mayor, and you live here, but you didn’t see their names on your ballot, so what gives?

It’s possible you were sent the wrong ballot.

It’s more likely you live in Burbank, or Calabasas, or Hawthorne, or Huntington Park, which have their own mayors. True, all of those places are in the orbit of the Los Angeles Lakers, but none of them are in the city of Los Angeles.

No. 4 — You’re too cool

The whole system is screwed up and nothing ever gets fixed anyway, so your vote is meaningless. In fact, you were hip to this way back in 2016, when you skipped Trump vs. Hillary because they were both capitalist tools, virtually indistinguishable politically, and neither represented your interests.

And you especially don’t have time to vote today because you’re too busy fighting the reversal of Roe vs. Wade and the catastrophic impact of climate change denial.

No. 5 — They make it so complicated

It used to be that you were assigned a polling place — a rec center, a school, a neighbor’s garage — and you knew just what you were supposed to do, easy as pie, but now it’s so confusing.

You can vote before election day. You can use a dropbox. You can vote even if you don’t have a permanent address. Who can keep track of all this? You can vote in Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, Thai and Vietnamese.

You can vote without even leaving your house, too. But those little circles on the ballot have to be filled in with blue or black ink, and what if you only have a red pen? Besides, there’s not much information available on any of the candidates or issues, unless you happened to read the thousands of stories published here and elsewhere, and who has time for that?

By the way, polls are open until 8 p.m., and if you change your mind and decide to vote, you can easily find out where to go.

steve.lopez@latimes.com


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