California primary was decided by less than a third of voters

Less than a third of California’s voters participated in the June primary election, the secretary of state’s office said Friday, and the majority did so by mail.

Turnout for the June 5 election was 5,328,296, or 31%, and 65% used mail-in ballots instead of voting at the polls on election day.

Among the counties, turnout was lowest in Los Angeles County, where just 21.8% of voters cast ballots. It was highest in rural Sierra (59.2%), Alpine (58.6%) and Amador (57.1%) counties. Sierra and Alpine conduct their elections entirely by mail.

Mail-in voting in this election broke the record set in the May 2009 special state election, in which 62% of ballots were cast by mail, officials said.


“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,” Secretary of State Debra Bowen said in a statement.

Most politics watchers expect turnout to be considerably higher for the Nov. 6 general election, when voters will decide what is expected to be a close race for president as well as several ballot measures, including tax proposals.

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