The Secretary of State has released voter turnout statistics from the June election and the figures reveal that voters set a record low for a presidential primary in the state. Statewide turnout was 31.1 percent, which is far lower than the previous record low of 41.9 percent for a presidential primary, recorded in 1996. While the turnout was dismal this June, it did not match the lowest voter turnout for any statewide election in California, which was 28.2% in June 2008.
So why was the turnout so low for this year’s primary? It’s likely that Proposition 28 and Proposition 29 did not inspire voters to hit the polls in high numbers and furthermore, relatively speaking California is irrelevant to the Republican presidential contest.
There is another record worth mentioning from June’s voter stats: The June 2012 vote-by-mail ratio of 65% topped the previous record set in the May 19, 2009, Statewide Special Election in which 62% of ballots were cast by mail. Secretary Bowen commented, “Given the ease and convenience that voting by mail offers, it’s not surprising to see more and more people choose to cast their ballots from home.”
Counties with the highest voter turnout as a percentage of registered voters were Sierra (59.2%), Alpine (58.6%) and Amador (57.1%). Sierra and Alpine are the only California counties that conduct elections entirely by mail. Countywide turnout was lowest in Los Angeles (21.8%), San Bernardino (23.7%) and Orange (26.5%).
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