Today’s Headlines: Early voter turnout in California’s primary is dismal so far

Early voters cast their ballots in Los Angeles
Election experts say the lackluster participation by Californians stems from a dearth of excitement over this year’s contests.
(Associated Press)

By Elvia Limón and Laura Blasey

Hello, it’s Tuesday, June 7, and it’s also California’s primary election day. The ballot will have candidates for U.S. Senate, governor, state senator, attorney general, U.S. representative in Congress, local races and more.

Aren’t exactly sure who and what issues are on the ballot? We’ve got you covered. We’ve gathered everything that you need to know about today’s election in this guide. In Los Angeles, voters will decide on mayor, city controller, city attorney and City Council seats, all of which are laid out in our guide here. Plus, The Times’ editorial board has endorsements in many of the races on the ballot.


Now, here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


Is it ‘election fatigue’? Early voter turnout in California’s primary is lacking

Voter turnout is dismal so far for California’s primary election, with about 15% of registered voters having cast a ballot as of Monday afternoon, according to election data received by the consulting firm Political Data Intelligence.

Election experts say the lackluster participation by Californians stems from a dearth of excitement over this year’s contests, which largely lack competitive races at the top of the ticket. It’s a stark contrast with other parts of the nation where voter turnout is exceeding expectations.

Even though every registered voter in California is being mailed a ballot, one Democratic consultant predicts primary turnout is likely to be under 30%.

More politics

  • With unprecedented spending, Rick Caruso is everywhere. But in his quest to become mayor of L.A., can the billionaire become overexposed?
  • L.A. mayor’s race cheat sheet: What to know about Karen Bass, Caruso, Kevin de León and Gina Viola.
  • President Biden nominated E. Martin Estrada to serve as the next U.S. attorney for the Central District of California. If confirmed by the Senate, Estrada would helm the most populous U.S. attorney’s district in the country.

Sign up for our California Politics newsletter to get the best of The Times’ state politics reporting and the latest action in Sacramento.

A rural California candidate faces attacks after calling 2020 election fair

Last month, campaign mailers called Natalie Adona, who is Asian American and running for office in a predominantly white, rural Northern California county, “a CARPETBAGGER.” The postcards — which provoked outrage by some who called them racist — have been part of a vicious campaign for what was once a mundane, nonpartisan position: clerk-recorder and registrar of voters for Nevada County.

Adona’s sins, in the eyes of her detractors: She called the 2020 election legitimate, and she enforced a mask mandate in a county office. Adona, the assistant clerk-recorder/registrar, is running to replace her boss, Gregory Diaz, who is retiring.

Think you can evade water restrictions? Think again

It’s only the size of a silver dollar, but a tiny metal disk can tame even the biggest of Southern California water hogs. The Las Virgenes Municipal Water District has unveiled a custom-built device that will drastically reduce water flow to customers who refuse to abide by newly enacted water restrictions.


Designed to be installed at the main shutoff valve of a home or business, the small, metal washer slashes water flow from 30 gallons per minute to less than one gallon per minute. Although the kitchen faucet works just fine, showers may become unsatisfactory for some, and lawn sprinklers become effectively nonfunctional. And that’s exactly the point.

Sonoma State president resigns after a sexual harassment scandal

Sonoma State President Judy Sakaki announced that she is stepping down. In recent weeks, Sakaki’s leadership came under scrutiny after a Times investigation detailed how California State University paid $600,000 to settle a legal claim with a provost who reported retaliation and sexual harassment allegations involving Sakaki and her husband, Patrick McCallum, a prominent higher education lobbyist.

The provost, Lisa Vollendorf, alleged she faced retaliation from Sakaki after she reported the sexual harassment accusations about McCallum to top officials at the chancellor’s office, records in the case show. Sakaki and McCallum previously issued statements to The Times saying they had done nothing wrong. Sakaki denied retaliating against Vollendorf.

Hollywood’s Hidden Monastery is safe from the wrecking ball — for now

For nearly 100 years, the cloistered nuns of the Monastery of the Angels have been praying for the people of Los Angeles from a rambling four-acre campus just below the Hollywood sign. But as the number of nuns has dwindled to a low in recent months of three, some feared that the historic property would be put up for sale. Now, a spokesperson for the Dominican monastery has confirmed that the complex is safe — at least for now.


Sister Maria Christine, prioress of the monastery, said the Dominican order’s goal is to upgrade and expand on their mission: providing a peaceful oasis for silent prayer and contemplation. The Monastery of the Angels Foundation is in the process of applying for nonprofit status. It aims to raise enough money to buy the monastery if it ever does go up for sale, help maintain the buildings and grounds and keep it open to the public.

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A man in a wetsuit performs a breakdance move on a sidewalk by the beach as a crowd of people cheer him on.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

‘Now, I’m not the only Black guy in the local surf spot.’ Daniel Kelly of Huntington Beach, center, takes his turn dancing in the crowd at the Pier Plaza during “A Great Day in the Stoke,” an effort to highlight Black surfers and Black surfing history, at the Huntington Beach pier. The event was billed as the “largest gathering of Black surfers in history.”


California’s latest COVID-19 surge may be slowing, early data suggest. In its first week-over-week decrease in coronavirus cases in two months, California reported a 12% dip in daily cases. But it’ll take more time to be certain.

How the Coastal fire destroyed O.C. mansions despite firefighters’ efforts. The flames last month were fast and intense, wind-whipped and fueled by drought-dry vegetation. Firefighters had to make decisions on the fly because the fire was moving so quickly. One firefighter described it as akin to a “fog of war.”


Fire weather watch with hot, dry conditions in SoCal this week. Late afternoon and evening winds known as sundowners are on tap near the Santa Ynez Mountains in Santa Barbara County over the next several days.

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Biden aims to jump-start stalled solar energy projects. President Biden signed an executive action halting for two years any new tariffs on solar panel parts from Asia. Imports of such panels have been held up due to a Commerce Department investigation. He also invoked the Defense Production Act to accelerate domestic manufacturing.

Five members of the Proud Boys were charged with seditious conspiracy in the Capitol riot. The new riot-related indictments against Proud Boys members are among the most serious filed so far, but they aren’t the first of their kind.

Britain’s Boris Johnson survives confidence vote but is politically wounded. The British prime minister survived the biggest challenge yet of his political career as he avoided being booted from office by his fellow Conservative Party lawmakers after months of outrage over boozy parties that he and his staff attended while the rest of the country was under COVID-19 lockdown.

López Obrador’s party consolidates its power in gubernatorial elections. The party of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador won four of the six governorships on the ballot in local elections, according to electoral authorities. The victories give the party control of 22 of Mexico’s 32 states, an important advantage heading into the 2024 presidential elections.


U.S. and South Korea fire missiles in response to North Korea’s launches. The U.S. and South Korean militaries launched eight ballistic missiles into the sea in a show of force matching a North Korean missile display a day earlier that extended a provocative streak in weapons demonstrations.


On his new album, Post Malone sincerely, relentlessly, almost heroically hates being famous. “Twelve Carat Toothache” is perhaps the most self-loathing album by any conflicted pop idol since Kurt Cobain, whose biggest hit Malone nods to right at the beginning: “You’re the superstar / Entertain us,” he sings in opener “Reputation.”

MTV’s newest scream queen, Jenna Ortega, teases the new Netflix series ‘Wednesday.’ Hot off Ortega’s victory for most frightened performance at the MTV Movie and TV Awards, Netflix released a teaser trailer starring the 19-year-old performer as the titular goth teen from the “Addams Family” franchise.

Atlanta rapper Trouble is killed at 34. Trouble, whose real name was Mariel Semonte Orr, was shot at an apartment east of Atlanta while visiting a female friend, police said. Over the course of a decade, Trouble built his image in Atlanta, first as a name to watch and later as a major artist.

An engaging LACMA show delves into how Indigenous Colombian cultures think about gold. “The Portable Universe: Thought and Splendor of Indigenous Colombia” is a deeply engaging new exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which features scores of metal objects fabricated from tumbaga, an alloy of gold and copper (and sometimes other metals, including silver).


Elon Musk’s ‘super bad feeling’ about the economy doesn’t mean mass layoffs are ahead. The Tesla chief executive and billionaire announced plans to cut 10% of the electric-car maker’s salaried workforce because he has a dire view of where the economy is headed, a projection that raised alarm on whether other companies will do the same. Not so fast, economists say.


Plus: Musk is threatening to walk away from his $44-billion bid to buy Twitter.


Is L.A. getting serious about safer streets? Seven years after Los Angeles adopted a visionary Mobility Plan, an ambitious road map to make city streets more bikeable, walkable and safer, the City Council may finally be ready to turn the plan into a mandate.

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USC fires baseball coach Jason Gill after three tumultuous years. Gill was fired two weeks after the Trojans finished last in the Pac-12 Conference and more than a year after the university opened an investigation into his conduct.

The Rams and Aaron Donald agree on a deal to make him the highest-paid non-quarterback in NFL. Terms of the deal were not announced, but NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported that Donald is guaranteed $65 million over the next two seasons and $95 million through 2024.

‘Los Angeles Angels’ will appear on a jersey for the first time with City Connect uniforms. The Angels’ City Connect uniforms are an homage to enduring Southern California themes: surf culture, the beach and the Pacific Ocean. The uniforms include a sleeve patch that says “Los Angeles Angels.”



‘June gloom’ brings incredible views if you’re willing to hike. The reliable occurrence of thick, low, marine-layer stratus clouds that hover over coastal Southern California in the late spring and early summer is known to some as June gloom, May gray, No-sky July and Fogust, depending on the month you’re in.

Sure, you may need to pack a sweater in your beach bag. But did you know it can also be an excellent time for hiking? With the right combination of timing, landscape and luck, that featureless layer of gray can provide some of the most dramatic scenery L.A.’s trails have to offer. The secret? Get above it. Here are six trails to try.


Actress Jean Harlow on the arm of actor Robert Taylor, circa 1937.
Actress Jean Harlow on the arm of actor Robert Taylor, circa 1937.
(Los Angeles Times)

Jean Harlow died 85 years ago of uremic poisoning because of kidney failure — a bout of scarlet fever as a teenager compromised her kidneys. The actor was 26 years old. However, Harlow remains one of the most influential stars of Hollywood’s Golden Era, setting the blond bombshell standard for others, including Lana Turner, Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield. Some of her most notable films include “Red Dust,” “Dinner at Eight” and “Bombshell.”

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