Voters in Los Angeles County wanted a couple of things when they took to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Seeing a change in the direction of the country was an overwhelming theme with voters. Another factor that drove folks to the polls was executing civic responsibility. This was a resounding message that came across from all demographic groups.
One young voter who made her election choices at Compton College said the United States is in need of an attitude overhaul.
“We need to make a change, as Black people, as a community, as a unit in order to get better results,” said the voter, who chose not to have her name mentioned in the article. “If you don’t vote, you won’t see change. Everybody is complaining about it, but I had to take off work to make sure I came here and make sure my vote count. I really think it is important.”
As to what specific changes that the Black female voter said she’d like to see, everything points towards No. 45. she said.
“I’m speaking about everything that is happening in the world right now (and) as far as what (President Donald) Trump is doing and as far as what Trump is not doing,” she said.
To Edd and Michael Nazelrod-Woodward, the change needed has everything to do with the current occupier of the Oval Office.
“We need to get rid of the trash that’s in the White House and the divisiveness in this country,” Edd Nazelrod-Woodward said. “The biggest failure is just him being elected.”
As a lifelong conservative, Michael Nazelrod-Woodward is displeased with the political party he has associated himself with.
“I’ve been a Republican all my life, even before I could register to vote,” Michael Nazelrod-Woodward said outside of the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder County Clerk’s vote center at Compton College. “I campaigned as a Republican, and I’m just horrified, horrified at the horrible person that’s in the White House now. And I’m ashamed of the Republican Party that’s in control of the [U.S.] Senate. They have done nothing, absolutely nothing to help the regular, middle-class people. They’ve passed legislation only to hurt those who are making the country work, and that’s us blue-collar, middle-class people.”
Michael Nazelrod-Woodward then threw the Republican Party under the bus for their double-standard morality song and dance.
“They’ve lost all sense of Christianity.” Michael Nazelrod-Woodward said. “They say that they’re very big Christians and passionate Christians; they’re against abortions. And yet, they’ve cut programs for our children. They’ve cut programs that would feed the hungry. It’s okay that we allow people to be born, but they don’t want to take care of them once they are born. I find them to be very, very hypocritical and we need a change. We need a man in there with integrity, a man who is compassionate, and a man who can and will follow what Christ has taught us, and that is to love your neighbor and to serve.”
Collete Combs has been voting since she turned 18. For Combs, who came out to vote at Hope Community Church in Long Beach, the need for different leadership is what moved her more than anything to cast her ballot in this election.
“Our leadership needs to change one hundred percent,” Combs said. “It [has] been headed in the wrong direction for too long. The people, I think that we finally realize we can change things if we vote. We have paid attention; We have listened and we want change. By voting, we can make a change. I definitely wanted to participate in this ground-breaking election year. I’ve been voting since I was 18. This is [voting in the election] so important for our measures, for our country. I just wanted to do my part to make sure that I contributed to, hopefully, a positive and different change with our country.”
Combs said she has struggled to pay her bills. Job opportunities have been hit and miss. She is hopeful that things will get turned around for her and others with a new Commander-in-Chief.
“I’ve been impacted by the economy like everyone else; finding jobs, a suitable job that can actually pay my bills,” Combs said. “We’re all hustling, and we’re all barely making it. We’ve never been like this with everyone.”
Norwalk resident Jerry Argon doesn’t see the need for a change in leadership when it comes to the presidency. Argo, who cast his ballot at the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Office, said President Trump has been vilified and deserves another term in office. He believes that America would be better off if Mr. Trump is given that opportunity.
“We need the same President that’s in there now in there again. Another four more years,” Argon said. “Since Day 1 when he got elected, they never gave him a chance. The pandemic (COVID-19)…whoever is going to be President will do the same. They have no control. It’s a virus. We just have to be careful with it. My 401 K has been the highest it has ever been since he got elected. I love that about him.”
The echo of change, however, resonates differently with Evelyn Rios, a mother of four sons.
“It’s very important because of the different thought and because I have kids of my own,” Rios said. “I want them to be able to live in a world where…there’s always going to be good and bad. I feel like it’s my civic duty to come out here and just do it [vote], especially for my kids because it’s their future. There’s a lot of friction in this country with everything; when it comes to race, when it comes to everything. Everything is so divided and it shouldn’t be like that.”
Longtime Carson resident Jason Gonzales said it was his civic responsibility to vote. Gonzales, who cast his ballot at the Carson Community Center, said voting is part of the process of being an American citizen.
“California is a mostly a Democratic state, but I feel strongly about the candidate that I picked and I just wanted to come out and do my part,” Gonzales said. “If you’re not in the voting process, you’re really not part of the process, and I really want to be part of that process. We live in this community, and we want to see the changes that we want. We want changes, but if we don’t do anything about it or if we’re not electing the people that is going to help bring those changes about then we’re really not doing anything.”