Getting People to the Polls
L.A.'s high stakes and low turnout
Angelenos took to the polls last week for the city's mayoral primary. Well, 20 percent of Angelenos took to the polls - the lowest rate for a primary without an incumbent since at least 1978. Derek Shearer, the Stuart Chevalier Professor of Diplomacy and World Affairs, weighs in on how changing the date of the election could increase voter turnout in a recent New York Times article, "Los Angeles Frets After Low Turnout to Elect Mayor." According to the Times, Shearer helped in moving the Santa Monica municipal elections to November in the 1980s.
Shearer served in the Clinton administration in the Commerce Department and as ambassador to Finland from 1994-97. He was also a foreign policy advisor to Vice President Al Gore during the 2000 presidential campaign and as an advisor to Sen. Hillary Clinton during the 2007-08 presidential primaries.