California primary turnout looks low so far in San Diego County

SAN DIEGO — California’s primary election turnout is about to hit an all-time low across the state, and numbers were also relatively low in San Diego County.

Early voting drew just over 4,000 people, but on the last day or so before the primary, the county said it received about 3,000 more ballots.

“Between presidential years and gubernatorial years, the gubernatorial primary has by far the lowest voter turnout,” said Cynthia Paes, the San Diego County Registrar of Electors.

Statewide, only 13% of ballots were delivered. California officials say the primary could break the record for the lowest voter turnout in state history. The record is currently held by the 2014 state primary, which had a 25% turnout.

“It’s unfortunate because there are critical contests on this ballot. This is where you name the top voters who then go to the second round of elections in November,” Paes said.

In San Diego, the registrar says a 30-40 percent turnout is still possible, despite a 60 percent turnout in last fall’s recall election. The registrar received more than 360,000 mail-in ballots, matching the 2018 primary, but far fewer than the recent recall.

This year in San Diego County, fewer voting centers will be available, but they will be more accessible and convenient under the recently passed Voter Choice Act.

“Voters can vote at any voting center in the county. If it’s more convenient to go near your work rather than your home, the concept of an assigned polling place is no longer the case,” Paes said.

On Election Day, there will be 132 ballot drop-off locations and 218 open voting locations with extended hours from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For more information on other local races in California’s June primary and voting tips, check out our 2022 election guide.

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