July 13, 2012
Contact: Shannan Velayas
SACRAMENTO - 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 www.sos.ca.gov/elections/sov/2012-primary.
"This year we saw a record number of Californians registered to vote, thanks in part to the online voter registration application I launched on September 19," said Bowen, California's chief elections officer. "While the election results show an increasing number of Californians rely on the convenience of voting by mail, 100 years of election data also demonstrate the fact that too many registered voters choose to sit elections out. The crucial factor seems to be whether election issues or candidates strike a chord with each voter. People who register to vote in the final weeks before Election Day often vote at a higher rate than the overall universe of registered voters."
The Secretary of State's office will release a Supplement to the Statement of Vote by November 10. The supplement will include details about how votes were cast by each city and each legislative, congressional, county supervisorial and Board of Equalization district.
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