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Steve Lopez: Switch local elections to national cycle?

March 6, 2013 |  8:49 am

PHOTOS: Los Angeles voters go to the polls

Steve LopezThis should settle it. Time to switch local election day in Los Angeles to the national cycle, in November, when voter turnout is higher.

So we don't keep embarrassing ourselves.

A turnout of 16%?

With a tax increase, contested school board races, nine City Council seats and the job of mayor on the line?

RESULTS: Los Angeles primary election

Eighty-four percent of L.A.'s registered voters didn't bother to vote, and thereby relinquished their right to moan and whine about anything, although I'm guessing they're the biggest moaners and whiners and probably can't be stopped.

Do you know how easy it is to vote?

They send a packet to your house. You can check the box that says, "Hey, I'm too lazy to leave my domicile for anything but a latte," and they'll send you a mail-in ballot. You don't have to get off the couch to vote.

INTERACTIVE MAP: How your neighborhood voted

There's always been a theory that low turnout is a good sign --- it means everything's OK. But everything's not OK.

The city has a budget hole that will keep eating the services people demand.

The rec center might close. The paramedics might get to a heart attack victim too late.

People keep saying the candidates for mayor were too boring to generate much interest, or the campaigns were too negative and turned voters off.

FULL COVERAGE: L.A.'s race for mayor

Some truth in that, but those are the lazy man's arguments. One of these people -- Eric Garcetti or Wendy Greuel -- is going to make decisions that affect nearly 4 million residents, and millions more who visit Los Angeles, in hundreds of ways for years to come.

Do you think we can top 20% in the runoff?

ALSO:

Congressman renews efforts for Medal of Honor for fallen Marine

L.A. mayor's race: SEIU, a key city union, endorses Wendy Greuel

Greuel, Garcetti in May mayor's runoff; 3 council seats undecided

-- Steve Lopez

Photo: Anna Donlin gives her dogs Walnut and Pearl a treat at a polling station at Allesandro Elementary School on Tuesday. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

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