December 12, 2014
Contact: Nicole Winger
Certified Statewide Results Show Record Low Turnout for Regular General Elections in California
SACRAMENTO- Final statewide results certified by California Secretary of State Debra Bowen today show the November 4, 2014, General Election brought a record low turnout for a regularly scheduled general election: 42.2 percent of registered voters. By contrast, the last gubernatorial general election in November 2010 drew nearly 60 percent of registered voters
The lowest turnout for any statewide November election was 36.4 percent in 1993 – a special election for seven ballot measures regarding property taxes, school vouchers and more. The lowest statewide primary election turnout was 25.2 percent in June 2014.
For each statewide election in California, county elections officials have 31 days to report their certified results to the Secretary of State. The Secretary then compiles the data and publishes the Statement of Vote for the entire state on the 38th day after Election Day. The official November 2014 election results, including county-by-county data and historical voter
turnout statistics, are at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/prior-elections/statewide-election-results/general-election-november-4-2014/statement-of-vote.
Of California’s 58 counties, Sierra had the highest November 2014 voter turnout with 73 percent of registered voters; the lowest voter turnout was in Los Angeles County with just 31 percent.
“The number of Californians who cast ballots is certainly disappointing. Every election is important, no matter what is on the ballot,” said Secretary Bowen, California’s chief elections official. “During my tenure as Secretary of State, 2.1 million more Californians registered to vote. While I’m proud of the many ways I tried to reach people all over the state, as well as implementation of 24-hour-a-day online voter registration in multiple languages, I have learned there is no silver bullet for motivating people to participate in elections.”
Voting by mail continues to be more popular than visiting a polling place. Sixty-one percent of all ballots cast in the November 2014 General Election were vote-by-mail ballots, up from 48 percent in the November 2010 gubernatorial election. The highest vote-by-mail ratio on record for a statewide election is 69 percent (June 2014).
The Secretary of State will publish a Supplement to the Statement of Vote by April 11. The supplement will include details about how votes were cast by each city and each legislative, congressional, county supervisorial district, and Board of Equalization district.
Keep up with California election news and trivia by following @CASOSvote on Twitter..