Hill voters often differ on political choices

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The Idyllwild voting precinct was the only Hill precinct where the majority of voters supported Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. 

In Pine Cove, Clinton did out poll Republican Donald Trump by one vote; however, with almost 40 votes cast for minor candidates, Clinton received only 45 percent of the votes there.

Garner Valley voters overwhelmingly favored Trump. He garnered two-thirds of the votes cast and more than twice Clinton’s votes — 192 to 72. Mountain Center voters also cast a plurality of their votes for Trump.

Clinton captured a slight majority of Riverside County votes — 50.1 percent. But the 3rd Supervisorial District was the only one that supported Trump.

Throughout the state, Clinton nearly doubled the number of votes for Trump.

Chuck Washington, Riverside County 3rd District supervisor, won election to a full four-year term with 58.6 percent of the total vote. On the Hill, Idyllwild and Mountain Center precincts cast more than 60 percent of votes for him. And even a majority of Pine Cove and Garner Valley voters preferred Washington to his challenger Shellie Milne.

In the race for the U.S. House of Representatives District 36 seat, Democratic incumbent Dr. Raul Ruiz easily defeated his opponent, Republican Jeff Stone, for his third term.

Ruiz collected 144,000 votes (62 percent) to State Sen. Stone’s 88,000 votes. On the Hill, Ruiz received a majority of votes from all four precincts, but his percentages were all less than the districtwide result.

At the local level, “Yes” votes for the Idyllwild Fire Protection District’s proposal to increase parcel fees — Measure W — were a majority of the votes cast. In a very large turnout, 838 voters or 56.7 percent agreed with the idea. However, the measure failed to get the required 66.7 percent of ballots cast.

Local votes for the propositions varied. For example, Proposition 62, which was the repeal of the death penalty, was defeated statewide and opposed in the county and in all the Hill precincts.

But votes for several of the other numerous state propositions were not consistent with the rest of the county or the state. For example, Proposition 53, which would require voter approval for all state bonds exceeding $2 billion, was narrowly defeated statewide. Fifty-six percent of county voters favored it. 

On the Hill, Idyllwild voters opposed it while Pine Cove voters narrowly supported it: 239 for it and 228 opposed.

Proposition 60, which would have required adult film actors to use condoms, was defeated at the state level, although Riverside County voters supported it. But on the Hill, only Mountain Center voters thought condoms were necessary for actors.

Turnout on the Hill was outstanding. Mountain Center, Pine Cove and Idyllwild all had 90 percent or more of registered voters casting a ballot. Garner Valley’s turnout was close at 88 percent. For Riverside County and throughout the whole state, turnout equaled 75 percent, not matching the local interest in this election.

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