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8 Key Takeaways from the March 5th Primary

Sacramento California outside the capital building

The California primary election results are in, with some good news and some not-so-good news for the LGBTQ+ community. Here are some key takeaways, including the results of Glendale’s closely-watched school board race, alarmingly low voter turnout, and a clearer picture into who will represent Californians in the U.S. Senate come November.

You can find the full election results for Los Angeles County here.

It’s Adam Schiff vs. Steve Garvey for the next California Senator. 

California is home to the most-watched Senate race in the nation. The Center’s current Representative, Democrat Adam Schiff, had the lead in total votes last night and will square off with Republican Steve Garvey in the November election. Democrats and independents currently have a slight majority in the U.S. Senate with 51 seats. 

We’re headed for a redux of the 2020 election.

Yup: It’s looking like we’re up for round two of President Biden vs. former President Donald Trump after Nikki Haley announced her retreat from the race this morning. Notably, it came without an endorsement for Trump on her way out.

Voter turnout was very low—especially for a presidential election year. 

There are many potential reasons Angelenos didn’t feel motivated to vote in the primary—the lack of top-ticket options, apathy with American politics, etc.—but low turnout could have tough consequences in a year chock full of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. 

The “uncommitted vote” movement gained traction.

In some states, a movement started by young Arab Americans took hold: voting “uncommitted” in the primary to protest President Biden’s response to the crisis in Gaza. This was especially strong in Michigan, where Democrats rely on the Muslim population there to carry them to their win. 

It looks like both Ballot Propositions are on their way to approval.

Proposition 1

As of this morning, State Proposition 1 looks likely to pass by a small margin. Newsom’s mental health and homeless services plan aims to increase access to services for Californians with substance use disorder and would build facilities to provide 10,000 new treatment beds. The proposition has had mixed reactions from local service providers, who have concerns about the redirecting of state funds.

City Measure HLA

In a more decisive race, City Measure HLA—a citizen-sponsored ballot initiative that would force LA to add hundreds of miles of bike and bus lanes—is leading by about a 20% margin. Angelenos are overwhelmingly saying yes to street improvements, improved safety, and better access for bikers!  

Glendale—home to an anti-LGBTQ+ school board battle—delivers mixed results (so far).

Glendale Unified School District has been the site of heated and sometimes violent clashes over the last eight months as anti-LGBTQ+ candidates boosted by far-right extremist groups such as Moms For Liberty and Proud Boys (among others) have zeroed in for a takeover of Glendale schools. Luckily, it appears that a staunch LGBTQ+ ally, Telly Tse, has handily won their seat—but other races of concern remain too close to call.

Frustrated by the lack of results so far? Don’t be!

California is one of the leaders in the nation in expanding voter accessibility and turnout, which means that vote-by-mail is often an Angeleno’s primary way of voting. While these ballots do take longer to count, rest assured that this means democracy is working. 

What’s next?

The November election will be critical for LGBTQ+ Americans. A brief analysis of the anti-LGBTQ+ legislation on the docket implies that whoever wins will be making decisions on access to gender-affirming care, HIV funding, abortion access, equity efforts, and more.

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