Big election in Bell

I spent the afternoon in Bell, where they are having a big election after months of political turmoil.

Bell is a relatively small city, and for this election had only four polling locations: two in churches, one in an elementary school, and one in a banquet hall.

Generally speaking, for an afternoon, voter turnout was relatively brisk. At each of the four polling locations, there were people voting and lines formed — though I don’t think that anyone waited more than ten or fifteen minutes to vote. Voters were patient, and I didn’t see any obvious problems in the polling places. It seemed that there were many new voters, as there seemed to be a larger number of voters than usual asking questions about how to vote, and many expressing some unfamiliarity with the Inkavote balloting system. There also seemed to be many provisional voters.

There is a lot of media attention in Bell today, I saw a number of media vans and what appeared to be a number of reporters stationed at the polling places.

Interestingly, I saw more campaign activity in Bell this afternoon than I recall ever seeing in Los Angeles County in the recent past. Obviously there were lots of campaign signs, but outside each polling place there were typically clusters of people handing out campaign materials. There also were vans and trucks passing in front of polling places, covered with campaign signs — and some with loudspeakers blaring campaign messages. Given all that has happened in Bell recently, there seems to be a lot of interest in this election, and hopefully this will continue in the future.

Later I’ll post a few photos from the polling places this afternoon, showing some of the lines, campaigning, and at the elementary school a clever device that could be used by voters to signal to pollworkers that they need assistance to enter the polling place.