Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Only 1 in 4 LA Voters Cast Ballots in Tuesday's Midterm

 

November 3, 2014

Leading into Tuesday's midterm election, some pointed to a record-low voter turnout in California, and Los Angeles County voters did not disappoint. Only one in four registered voters in Los Angeles County turned in a ballot on Tuesday, according to an early analysis from the county's Registrar-Recorder.

Among the state's counties, only Imperial County had a lower turnout with 22.4 percent of voters casting ballots. Los Angeles County's turnout was 25.5 percent based on the registrar-recorder's pre-certified results and preliminary data from the California Secretary of State's office.

The dismal participation rates come on the heels of June's primary, in which just 17 percent of Los Angeles county's 4.5 million registered voters cast ballots. (Primary elections usually bring out fewer voters.)

Tuesday's turnout in Los Angeles is less than half of the turnout for the last midterm election, in 2010 - when 53 percent of registered voters cast a ballot - and appears to be a record low for midterm elections since 1942.

The previous low came in 2002, when 45 percent of voters cast a ballot, according to available election data from Los Angeles County.

The voter turnout results won't be final for a while. Los Angeles county begins its canvass on Thursday and is scheduled to certify election results on Nov. 28. As for final numbers, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is tentatively scheduled to declare election results official on Dec. 2.

Statewide, turnout came in at 29.9 percent, according to pre-certified results, falling far bellow 2002's record-low for a midterm election. That year it was 50.6 percent.

Less than half of the state's counties cracked the 50 percent turnout mark.

In Orange County, the pre-certified turnout of 32.6 percent was the lowest dating back at least 25 years, Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley said.

Turnout in Imperial, Riverside and San Bernardino counties came in below 30 percent, according to the respective elections offices. Riverside (29.8 percent) and San Bernardino (27.15 percent) were record lows according to available data. Turnout in San Diego and Ventura hovered between 32 and 35 percent.

In all, statewide turnout was a steep decline from the highest turnout on record for a midterm election. In 1958 79 percent of registered voters cast ballots.

 

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