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Only 42 Percent Of Californians Voted In November's Election

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The Secretary of State’s office has made the dismal news we’ve all been expecting official this afternoon: Record-low California voter turnout during last month’s midterm election - and it wasn't even close.

It’s hard to get much worse than this: 42 percent turnout in the November election, when California voters elected a governor, seven other statewide officials and most of the state Legislature.

There’s little question why: It wasn’t a presidential year, the governor’s race wasn’t competitive, and neither of California’s U.S. Senate seats was on the ballot. The election even lacked high-profile statewide ballot measures – a rarity in California.

The previous record-low voter turnout for a non-presidential general election was 50 percent in 2002, when Governor Gray Davis won re-election.

Meanwhile, the state posted a new record for the number of Californians who voted by mail this general election: 61 percent, up from 48 percent four years ago.

 election 2014

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

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