“Mail ballots arriving at the Orange County elections office indicate a low-turnout for Tuesday’s primary, with voting on pace to see less than 30 percent of registered voters casting ballots in the county,” according to the O.C. Register.
The voter turnout is similar in other parts of the state as well – “Workers with the San Francisco Department of Elections have been opening absentee ballots that have been trickling in and based on those numbers, they expect voter turnout for this election to be around 35 to 40 percent,” according to ABC News.
In Kern County, the Voter Registrar had issued 156,063 absentee ballots, but only 30,242 had been returned, according to Bakersfield.com.
Here in Orange County, you can see the number of ballots being returned at this link. Note that the First Supervisorial District, which is represented by Janet Nguyen, a Republican, 9,880 Democrats have returned their ballots versus 9,939 Republicans. About 3,300 ballots from voters with no party preference and voters from third parties have also been returned. There were over 114,000 ballots issued in the First District, but only 23,190 have been returned thus far. The figures indicate however that the Democrats could have beat Nguyen, had they bothered to run a candidate against her.
Over in the 69th Assembly District, where Democrats Tom Daly, Michele Martinez and Julio Perez have been slugging it out – each sending multiple mailers out each of the past few weeks, only 11,323 ballots have been returned while 69,191 were issued. So far 5,768 Democrats have returned their ballots versus 4,074 Republicans and just over 1,400 voters with no party preference and third party voters. If the Republicans vote for their only candidate, Jose “Joe” Moreno, there won’t be many votes left for the Democrats to fight over. Only one of them would end up facing Moreno in November.
Why aren’t voters returning their ballots? The biggest factor is a Presidential primary that has already been settled. The Republicans are going with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and the Democrats are stuck with an embattled President Barack Obama. Obama’s complete ineptitude in handling our economy my discourage Democrats from voting int the Open Primary.
If you know anyone who has not returned their absentee ballots, please encourage them to vote. If we don’t vote we have no right to complain about the politicians we get stuck with!