Heavy turnout reported on Election Day

Suzanne Kingston casts her ballot on Election Day in 2012 at Malibu City Hall. Malibu residents turned out in droves to vote in the presidential and state races. 

With several key issues at stake on the local and national ballot this Election Day, local precinct poll workers reported a heavy turnout of voters. 

Joanna Rehm, who has worked at polling places on Election Day for the last 12 years, said there were about 20 people waiting outside of Duke’s Restaurant when the polls opened at 7 a.m. 

“The turnout is the highest I’ve ever seen,” Rehm said. 

As of 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, 520 people had voted at Duke’s Restaurant, not counting the number of vote-by-mail and provisional ballots cast. Rehm estimated 60 mail and provisional ballots had been dropped off. Other voting locations included Malibu City Hall, Point Dume Elementary and Malibu High School. Workers cited a constant stream of voters, especially during the “morning rush,” “lunch rush,” and “after-work rush.” 

Three open seats on the Santa Monica-Malibu Board of Education members and school bond Measure ES were among the key items Malibu voted on. 

Three candidates from Malibu were looking to the open seats on the Santa Monica- Malibu Board of Education: Seth Jacobson, Karen Farrer and Craig Foster. They ran on a single platform together against three board incumbents who each represent Santa Monica—Ben Allen, Jose Escarce and Maria Leon- Vazquez. 

“We got a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of people encouraged by our candidacy. It’s just a sheer numbers game at this point,” Jacobson said on Tuesday. “Unfortunately I don’t think the numbers are with us.” 

Malibu has not had a representative on the Board of Education since 2008. 

Jacobson, Foster and Farrer planned on waiting for election results Tuesday night at Farrer’s home in Malibu after spending the last few days of election season campaigning in Malibu and Santa Monica. 

Measure ES, a $385-million bond measure placed on the ballot by SMMUSD officials, needs 55 percent voter approval to pass. Bond money from ES would fund school facilities improvements in Santa Monica and Malibu. Malibu schools are guaranteed to receive $77 million of the bond funds if ES passes. 

As The Malibu Times went to press Tuesday evening, the projected results of the local election had yet to be released by the Santa Monica city clerk. 

For 16-year-old Avery Albert, though, Election Day didn’t mean the same thing to her as it did to the other polling workers in the Moana Room at Duke’s Restaurant on Tuesday. 

“I’m really jealous that I can’t vote,” she said. 

What Albert was glad to do, though, was sign voters in, answer questions and collect ballots. 

The high school junior was required to work at a polling location on Election Day as a part of her U.S. History class curriculum at Wildwood School in West Los Angeles. 

“It’s actually been really fun. I had heard that it’s very tedious and boring,” Albert said Tuesday evening while seated at a table stacked with sample ballots, clipboards and long lists of local registered voters. 

Oz Folb, who became a U.S. citizen last year, could hardly hide her excitement after casting her first presidential election ballot and placing her patriotic “I Voted” sticker on her jacket. 

“It felt great,” she said. “I nearly burst into tears while I was in the booth.” 

California polls had yet to close and, on the national front, the Presidential election was very close to call as The Malibu Times went to press late Tuesday evening.