The city of Burbank, a predominately white city, had seven voting centers, and four different mail ballot drop-boxes that was open for 24-hours. On the day of election, every voting center was busy as people would go in person or drop their ballot for the presidential election.
The city of Los Angeles, had many different polls in which people would also visit. However, Los Angeles looked differently compared to Burbank. The day before election, I took a drive around downtown to see how it was. From my view in the car, I was not surprised to see most businesses close early. Gates around city hall was up before election night, and most stores were had wood around it to prevent others from entering or causing a scene. This early action, made residents in the area feel anxious about an election riot. Especially because, unlike any other presidential election, most people assumed this years election would be the most challenging.
While Los Angeles looked like a scene from a horror movie, Burbank looked as if nothing new or exciting was happening in the area. Stores were still open, and there were no gates around city hall. In the small city, people encouraged others through social media to go out and vote. They would even post photos or boomerangs on their Instagram to show others that they practiced their voting rights. There were no following videos or photos. However, in Los Angeles, there were multiples videos that first showed Los Angeles boarded up, as they were getting prepared for a crazy night of election; then other videos appeared showing LA residents getting arrested that night. Because of the chaos Los Angeles has gone through in the past, many felt unsafe to be in the area that night.
“I went to the grocery store around 5pm, but did it quickly. So, I did go out. Not too late, but I wouldn’t have gone out later than that,” a female resident, living ten minutes away from the Staples Center in Los Angeles says. “We were so close to DTLA we didn’t want to be caught in anything, you know?”
A new Mid-City resident, Cameron Humble, says, “I did not go out on the night of election, I didn’t feel safe. I would like to say my neighborhood is a safe area but I could be wrong come the results.”
While there are LA residents like Gomez and Humble who did not feel safe on the night of election to be out, there were Burbank residents who didn’t feel unsafe. Kayleigh Carras, a 25-year-old resident says “yes” after being asked if she felt safe to go out on the night election. She continues by saying,“because there’s no reason to be scared or feel unsafe.”
Betsy Ramirez, a Los Angeles Valley College students says she felt safe being in Burbank on the night of election but wouldn’t have felt the same if she would’ve been in DTLA.