Half of state’s voters cast mail ballots

December 17, 2012

More than half of California’s 13.2 million participating voters submitted mail ballots in the recent general election, according to Secretary of State Debra Bowen. (Sacramento Bee)

She reported that 51 percent voted through the mails, the most ever in a presidential election. But the state’s all-time high total was in the primary election, when 65 percent of the state’s residents voted by mail.

Vote-by-mail ballots dropped off at polling places were included in the final tally, said Bowen. But only 72 percent of all the state’s 18.2 million registered voters turned out, lower than the national average of 79 percent tallied over the past century.

“While the election results show an increasing number of Californians rely on the convenience of voting by mail, 100 years of election data also demonstrate the fact that too many registered voters choose to sit elections out,” Bowen said in a statement. “The crucial factor seems to be whether election issues or candidates strike a chord with each voter.’

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To me 51% (and the 65% in the primary) seems awfully high for mail-in ballots. Perhaps it’s just that too few people cared enough to vote (and go to the polls especially) that drove that number up?

That is a larger percentage than what I would think. How did California do compared to other states, I wonder.