Voter turnout for election day, Nov. 4, underperformed The Field Poll prediction issued that morning of turnout for the 2014 general election. The Field Poll release predicted 8.2 million people would cast ballots in the election, but total turnout was slightly less than 6.4 million voters.
Statewide turnout, 35.8 percent, was the lowest in more than 50 years. The Field Poll had predicted 46.1 percent of the voters would be involved, which would still be the lowest in same period. Voter turnout has not been less than 50 percent in this period.
In 2010, the last non-presidential election, statewide turnout was nearly 60 percent and more than 72 percent in the 2012 presidential election. Nationally, turnout was estimated to be slightly more than 36.4 percent.
But initial indications of voter interest on the Hill refute this trend. At about 7:30 p.m., with still 30 minutes before the polls closed, the Pine Cove voting precinct had nearly 105 voters come in during the day and cast ballots. This represents about 20 percent of the total voters in the precinct, but does not include the vote-by-mail ballots, which were twice the number of votes cast in the June primary.
At Town Hall, with 10 minutes before the poll closed, 421 voters had cast ballots, representing about 28 percent of the 1,485 registered voters in that precinct. That total also excludes vote-by-mail ballots, which were about 77 percent more than primary day voters in June.
Riverside County turnout was about 37.7 percent. Sierra County, with only 2,229 registered voters, had the highest turnout of 73 percent. The lowest turnout percentage in the state was 24 percent in Mendocino County.
The Riverside County Registrar of Voters has about 24,000 uncounted ballots. Of this total, about 19,000 are provisional and may not be eligible to be counted. If all were counted, the county’s turnout would barely be 40 percent. In 2012, the county turnout was 71 percent and 57 percent two years earlier.