LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Voters across Southern California began heading to the polls early on Tuesday ahead of what was expected to be a smaller turnout than previous elections.
KNX 1070′s Pete Demetriou reports those who will be casting their ballot will be faced with a slate of high-profile measures.
As many as 3.1 million voters are projected to go to the polls in Los Angeles County alone, while statewide as many has half of all California voters will cast ballots by mail for Tuesday’s election, according to the latest Field Poll.
About 70 percent of registered California voters were expected to cast their ballots, which is 10 percent smaller than the last election.
That would mark the first time the number of mail-in ballots overtook the number of precinct ballots in a California general election, the Associated Press reported.
“People have busy work schedules, they work further away from home then the locality of their polling place, and they just want to get it done when and where they’re able to,” said Los Angeles County Registrar Dean Logan.
While officials in Los Angeles and Orange counties don’t expect any delays from the number of mail-in ballots, the California Secreatary of State has warned of a potential delay in election results.
In addition to the Presidential race, voters were set to decide on a proposed tax hike to fund education, a potential repeal of the death penalty, a measure to label genetically modified food, and proposed mandatory condom use for adult entertainment actors.
KNX 1070′s John Brooks reports one of the more hotly contested races includes the battle between Reps. Brad Sherman and Howard Berman for the San Fernando Valley’s newly-created 30th Congressional District.
Reps. Laura Richardson of Long Beach and Janice Hahn of San Pedro are vying for a seat in a new district, while veteran Congressman Henry Waxman faces stiff competition from Bill Bloomfield in the redrawn 33rd District.
Voters in Los Angeles County will also elect the next District Attorney: Chief Deputy D.A. Jackie Lacey and prosecutor Alan Jackson are both hoping to replace outgoing Steve Cooley after 12 years in office.
Polls opened at 7:00 a.m. and will close at 8:00 p.m. Click here to find your local polling place.
(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)