By MADISON HIRNEISEN
THE CENTER SQUARE STAFF REPORTER
(The Center Square) — Though every registered voter in California received a ballot in the mail, voter turnout for the state’s primary election looked dismal Tuesday afternoon, even as polls remained open for over 12 hours to accommodate in-person voting.
As of Tuesday afternoon, only 18% of the state’s nearly 22 million registered voters had cast their ballot in the primary election, according to Political Data Inc. Every registered voter was mailed a ballot in May. Polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday across the state for in-person voting.
If voter turnout remains scarce, the state could see the lowest turnout in state history. In the 2014 primary election, only 25.2% of voters participated, which marks the current record low, according to The Associated Press.
Voter turnout was lowest among the 18-34 age group, who had returned only 7% of ballots as of Tuesday afternoon. The turnout was highest among individuals over the age of 65, who returned 36% of ballots as of the same time.
A poll from the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies found that incumbent officials have a strong lead over their challengers in the primary election. Gov. Gavin Newsom was polled to have the support of 50% of likely voters this primary, and appointed Attorney General Rob Bonta also holds stronger support than any of his challengers.
Madison Hirneisen covers California for The Center Square.