Long lines and high spirits as Southland voters head to polls
Voters across Southern Calfifornia faced long lines and a few polling-place snafus Tuesday morning, but many said they did not mind putting up with a little inconvenience to cast their ballots.
In front of Shenandoah Elementary School in Mid-City the line of early morning voters stretched for nearly a city block. Josh and Amanda Levine were upholding family tradition by showing up with their two children, including daughter Alex, 2, who sported a red, white and blue, star-spangled cotton dress and waved a flag to boot.
"Our parents did this for us," said Josh Levine, who works at the Saatchi & Saatchi advertising firm. As Amanda, an attorney, held his spot in line with their 3-month-old son Jack's stroller, Josh carried Alex to the entrance of the school auditorium and explained that everyone in front of and behind them was waiting to vote.
"We want them to learn from a very young age how important it is to vote," Amanda said.
"We didn't have that back there," she said of her homeland. "It's wonderful if our vote's going to count."
Her companion, Normand Labrecque, a manager for a liquor distribution firm, said he would vote for Mitt Romney for president.
"I think a lot of people are looking for change," he said.
In Hermosa Beach, business was brisk at a Kiwanis Club, where several precincts had been combined into a single polling place. At 9:15 a.m., every booth was full and poll workers were busy keeping the lines moving to color-coded tables, identifying the different precincts.
Poll worker Priscilla Atwell, who has worked elections for about 25 years, said she has never seen such a turnout in her town. At one point early in the morning, there was a 45-minute wait, she said.
"This is wild, this is great!" Atwell said.
-- Martha Groves and Jean Merl
Photo: Albert Rosena, 82 is assisted by his wife, June Rosena, 78, after they arrived early to vote at the San Fernando Community Adult School and Rinaldi Learning Center in Granda Hills. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times