Oct 31, 2014 3:36 PM by News Staff
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A drop in the number of voters mailing their absentee ballots signals that California may be on track for another low-turnout election.
Butte County Clerk-Recorder Candace Grubbs says the county elections division has issued more than 74,000 mail-in ballots, but only 29 percent of those ballots have been returned.
Observers have expected depressed turnout with a governor's race devoid of drama and no U.S. Senate race or high-interest ballot initiatives on the ballot.
Hotly-contested local, legislative and congressional races still could boost voter participation in some parts of the state come Election Day. Yet county records show the rate of Californians returning absentee ballots is down even as requests for vote-by-mail ballots have soared.
Primary turnout already hit a record low this year when just one in four registered voters cast ballots in June. California's lowest general election turnout in the past century was in 2002, when half of registered voters cast ballots.
If you plan on voting at the polling place on election day, Grubbs says be sure to mark your sample ballot ahead of time and take it with you to reduce waiting time. Your polling place location is listed on the back cover of your Sample Ballot booklet, or go online to ButteVotes.net.
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