8 million Californians to vote in the primary election, 5 million to be cast by mail


The Field Poll: The Field Poll estimates that about 8 million voters will be participating in today’s California presidential primary election. If true, this would represent a turnout of 44.7% of the state’s 17.9 million registered voters and 32.5% of the state’s 24.6 million adult citizens who are eligible to register and vote. That would place turnout as a percentage of those registered about midway between the low-turnout 2012 presidential primary election, when just 31.1% of the state’s voters participated, and the high-turnout 2008 presidential primary, in which 57.7% of the state’s registered voters cast a ballot.

The poll also estimates that about 5 million of the votes cast in the primary will be done using a mail ballot, a record number for a primary election in California. This would be considerably more than the 3.5 million mail ballots were cast in the state’s 2012 primary, and the 3.8 million mail ballots cast in California’s 2008 presidential primary….  Since 1980 the number of Californians choosing to vote by mail has increased more than fourteen-fold from about 344 thousand in 1980 to this year’s estimated 5 million, an increase percentage-wise from 5.1% in 1980 to 62.5% in 2016.

One of the factors fueling the growing popularity of voting by mail is that beginning in 2004, all California voters have been allowed to include their name on a list of their county’s permanent mail ballot registry. This enables voters to automatically receive their official ballots by mail in the final weeks leading up to each election. Prior to this, only certain voters, such as those living overseas or who had a permanent disability, could choose to be on this registry.   Read more.  (Photo)