In the coming days, we’ll have much more to say about what we learned in our field work today. A number of us spent much of the day in the field in Southern California (Paul Gronke, Morgan Llewellyn, Melissa Slemin and myself). We went to polling places in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, speaking mainly with pollworkers and a few voters. I personally logged more than 150 miles on the road, and studied sixteen polling places. During one of these visits, I went with a group of about twenty high school students from the Waverly School to polling place in Pasadena!
In most polling places we saw brisk turnout, and in a number of poll sites we saw stronger turnout than we’ve seen in recent primaries in Southern California. We saw many new voters, a large number of provisional voters, and a lot of people dropping off absentee ballots in polling places. It will be interesting to see the final statistics from California’s Super Tuesday primary.
We went to polling places where voting machines didn’t work, and where there were procedural problems. We also encountered a lot of hard working polling place workers, who were more than happy to answer our questions.
One of the most interesting issues we were looking for today concerned “decline-to-state” voters and the ballot in LA County. We did see a number of “decline-to-state” voters who wanted to know why they could not vote in the Republican primary. But it’ll be interesting to see how many “decline-to-state” voters had trouble navigating the ballot in LA County.