CA Election Results: Lifelong Dem. Voting Republican for First Time

Poll worker Nancy Wildman of Rolling Hills Estates hands a voter their "I voted" sticker.

Lifelong Dem Votes GOP – 4:30 p.m: Walter Dickinson, 85, of San Diego County said his uncles are “rolling over in their graves” over his decision to vote Republican for the first time in his life.  La Mesa Patch has the full story.

Lawn Signs Vanish – 3:07 p.m: In La Canada Flintridge, some local residents have reported that their Romney lawn signs have disappeared.  This follows the reported disappearance of some residents’ Obama signs in the town last month.  More on La Canada Flintridge Patch.

Turnout at 2:00 – 2:37 p.m: As of 2 p.m 37.34 percent of registered voters have shown up to vote in L.A. County, according to the county registrar’s office.

Two “Thugs” Turn Up to Polling Place – 1:35 p.m: Two men that local voting officials described as “thugs” are being investigated by police in Redwood City after they tried to tell voters coming into a poll location that they required ID to vote.

Redwood City Patch reports that the two men carried a binder which they claimed had names and addresses of eligible voters and were wearing all black with dark sunglasses and standing in front of the polling place with their arms crossed. They left after poll volunteers called the police.

Pollsters Say Turnout Will be Low – 1 p.m: The California polling group Field Poll is estimating that there will be one million fewer ballots cast today than on Election Day 2008.  

The pollsters are projecting that 12.75 million Californians will show up to vote down from 13.74 million in 2008, a turnout of 69.9 percent of registered voters.

The group also suggests that for the first time ever in California there will be more ballots cast by mail – they note that California voting officials report distribution of 9.1 million vote-by-mail ballots and project that 6.5 million voters will mail it in.

For more on their estimates, check out their website.

Voting Machines Arrive – 11:34 a.m: Voting machines have now arrived at a polling station that was without them this morning in Westwood in L.A. County.

Some voters were frustrated by the delay at the polling place.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” said Brad Ridgley, who decided to come back later in the afternoon to cast his ballot. 

More at Westwood-Century City Patch.

Class Near Romney Home Says Obama to Win – 11:27 a.m: An Advanced Placement Government class at a La Jolla private school about 7 miles from Mitt Romney’s beach home has issued an electoral prediction not so friendly to the semi-local Republican contender: the class is calling the election for Obama with 277 electioral votes to Romney’s 261. More on La Jolla Patch.

Voting Machine Missing – 11 a.m: In Los Angeles County one polling station does not have the expected voting machines up and running, so voters are being asked to cast manual ballots or a provisional ballot at a neighboring polling place.  More details on that story can be found at Westwood-Century City Patch.

Original: Californians go to the polls Tuesday to cast ballots in a historic election that will set the direction for the country and the state for years to come.

The polls in California are scheduled to open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. To find your polling place and to view which candidates and measures will be on your ballot, go to smartvoter.org.

California is not a swing state, but as the most populous state in the union, its decisions at the polls are a strong reflection of the electorate’s views of the country’s current leaders.

Four years ago, California voted for Democrat Barack Obama by a 24 percent margin over John McCain and the betting is voters will support Obama again. The state has not sided with a Republican presidential candidate since 1988, when it helped elect George H.W. Bush. Nonetheless, the economy is weighing on the minds of many state voters with California’s jobless rate at 10.2 percent.

Recent national polls indicate the race between Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney is just too close to call. Given that, it bears repeating: Every vote counts.

In a Patch flash poll Sunday, more influential Democrats than key Republicans expressed satisfaction with their presidential candidate’s campaign in California.

Ninety-three percent of Democrats said Obama had run a better ground campaign, while 44.5 percent of Republicans said the same about Romney, in the survey of 32 state party activists and leaders.

Republicans have considered California, where voter registration tilts significantly Democratic, largely a lost cause in the presidential race and the state has seen little top-of-the-ticket campaigning.

“One of the most important events during this election cycle has been online voter registration, which has pushed California registration above 18 million for the first time in the state’s history,” one Democratic survey respondent wrote. “And the greatest share of the new and re-registered voters are Democrats and younger voters. This … will also further cement the GOP’s significant decline in California.”

Republican activists, however, said they expected the enthusiasm for Obama to diminish compared with 2008, even in California.

“Down-ballot congressional races such as Brian Billbray in San Diego, Tony Strickland in Ventura and David Valadao in the Central Valley may push GOP turnout in swing areas of the state,” one Republican wrote. “However, with the lack of [a] competitive U.S. Senate election, California will still end up in Obama’s camp, though at a lower level of support from 2008.”

Another took a crack at calling the election nationally: “Obama’s negative race has been way too negative for someone that is supposed to be a unifier, and I think the public has figured out that the Emperor has no clothes. … I think it’s Romney by 4-5 points.”