On Friday, Dec.2, Riverside County Registrar of Voters Rebecca Spencer certified the vote totals from the Nov. 8 gubernatorial election and the board of supervisors accepted the results at its Dec. 6 meeting.
In Riverside County, about 46.1% of the 1.3 million registered voters cast a ballot in this election. The statewide turnout for the November election was 50%.
Locally, turnout in Garner Valley and Idyllwild was 72%, while Mountain Center and Anza had about a 58% turnout. Pine Cove’s turnout, 66%, was in the middle.
Riverside County turnout was in the middle of its neighboring counties. Both Orange and San Diego counties had turnouts of 54%. San Bernardino County’s turnout was 40%, but Imperial County only had a 35% turnout, second lowest in the state.
As reported several times in the past month, the Democrats swept the statewide races. With the exception of Malia M. Cohen, Democrat for controller, every other Democratic candidate from Gov. Gavin Newsom to Alex Padilla for U.S. Senate garnered at least 59% of the vote. Cohen had 55.4% of vote in her race.
However, Riverside County totals were exactly the opposite. Every Republican candidate outpolled the Democratic opponent. Alex Padilla, with 49.3% of the vote cast in his race, was the Democrat with the highest percentage of Riverside County votes.
However, Hill communities were split on their support. Idyllwild and Pine Cove easily favored the Democratic state candidates, and Anza and Garner Valley were overwhelmingly supportive of the Republicans.
For example. Gov. Newsom received 59% of the votes from Idyllwild and Pine Cove. But his Republican opponent Brian Dahle captured 75% of the Garner Valley votes and 66% of Anza’s.
In the controller’s race, Cohen got about 58% of the Idyllwild and Pine Cove vote, slightly more than her state percentage. But her Republican opponent, Lanhee Chen, received overwhelming support in Anza and Garner Valley — much greater than either his percentages statewide or the whole county.
In the only Riverside Countywide office race, challenger Brian Benoit defeated incumbent Paul Angulo. Benoit received 54.3% of the total votes cast in this race.
The Hill communities were in basic agreement on this race. They all favored a new auditor. However, Garner Valley’s support was impressive, casting 62.8% of its votes for Benoit.
Congressional District 41
With 52.4% of the votes, Congressman Ken Calvert defeated first time candidate, Democrat Will Rollins. In January, Republican Ken Calvert will begin his 16th term in the House of Representatives, representing California’s 41st Congressional District, which includes all the Hill communities.
Hill votes in this race were similar to the state races. Rollins was the clear favorite of the top of the Hill and Calvert was the favorite in the lower valleys. Both areas gave their favorite about 10% more votes than the districtwide percentage.
State legislative races
The 32nd state Senate District had Republican Assemblyman Kelly Seyarto easily defeating first time candidate Democrat Brian Nash. The district incorporates portions of four counties — San Diego, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino.
Seyarto garnered 62% of the vote districtwide and in Riverside County, and more in Anza and Garner Valley. Despite being a neophyte, Nash received about 55% of the votes in Idyllwild, Mountain Center and Pine Cove.
Seyarto was the vote leader in all four counties of the district.
Two state Assembly District races affected the Hill. In District 36, Eduardo Garcia, a Democrat, is the incumbent. District (AD) 47 had two new candidates, Democrat Christy Holstege and Republican Greg Wallis.
Garcia captured 53.4% of the districtwide votes but only outpolled Weeks by 675 votes in the Riverside County portion of the district. The difference would have been greater, but Anza and Garner Valley gave Weeks 323 more votes than Garcia.
For the AD 47 seat, Holstege captured 54% of the district vote in Riverside County and a whooping 60% from Idyllwild and Pine Cove. However, the San Bernardino County voters overwhelmingly favored Wallis who won the election.
Generally, Hill communities’ votes on the propositions were on the same side of the “Yes or No” choices, and generally, with similar percentages supporting or opposing the proposition as the state totals.
One noticeable exception was the Anza and Garner Valley vote opposing Prop 1, the reproductive freedom amendment to the state constitution. In those two precincts, voters opposed adopting it. In Anza, about 52% voted “No,” but in Garner Valley, two-thirds of the votes cast opposed it. The other Hill communities all supported Prop 1.
The votes for or against the other six propositions were all similar to the statewide and county vote percentages. The differences were only the level of support or opposition, but the majority of voters in each precinct cast similar ballots.