More and more Californians voting before election day


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Months of campaigning have all been leading up to election day on Tuesday, but for an increasing number of voters around the state, the action has already come and gone.

More and more Californians are casting their ballots through the mail before election day rolls around. So even as politicians drop millions of dollars on advertising in the final days of the campaign, their messages are finding fewer and fewer people who haven’t already voted.


“We’re getting to a place where half the voters in this state are voting by mail,’ said Cathy Darling Allen, president of the California Assn. of Clerks and Elections Officials.

This year, about 18 million Californians are registered to vote, and 9.1 million ballots have been mailed to voters. As of Saturday, 3.2 million ballots were already cast.
During the last presidential election in 2008, there were 17.3 million registered voters, and 7.3 million cast ballots by mail. That includes voters in sparsely populated areas that don’t have polling places, Allen said.

All told, there are more Californians registered to vote on Tuesday than ever before, thanks in part to a new law allowing online registration. Patrick McGreevy and Evan Halper analyzed the numbers and what they could mean for elections in the state in an article last week.


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-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento