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Saturday, July 14, 2012

California Primary: High Convenience Voting, Low Turnout

A record number of Californians chose a mailbox over a polling place when they voted in the June 5 Presidential Primary Election, as reported in the Statement of the Vote certified today by Secretary of State Debra Bowen.
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.
Overall, 5,328,296 voters participated in the election, which is 31.1% of the total voters registered in the state. The lowest voter turnout for any statewide election in California was 28.2% in June 2008.
“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,” said Secretary Bowen, California’s chief elections officer.
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%).
The certified election results, including county-by-county numbers and historical statistics on voter eligibility, registration and turnout, are available on the Secretary of State’s website at