Low turnout, lots of mail

Everyone knew the voter turnout for the June primary election would be low, but now a report from the Secretary of State’s office documents just how low it was. Only 28.2% of registered voters throughout the state voted, about half as many as turned out in the presidential primary in February. A majority of those who cast votes did so by mail–58.7% statewide. Some small counties did all of their voting by mail. San Francisco did not do as badly as some other counties, like Los Angeles. The turnout in San Francisco was 40.2% of registered voters, with 51.8% of them voting by mail. This is the first election in which a majority of votes were cast by mail. Those of us who urge people to vote, must be discouraged by the low figures, even though they were expected. When you look at these figures for people who have taken the trouble to register and then consider the numbers of those who haven’t taken that first step, it means that very few citizens expressed any opinion at all on the candidates and issues on the June ballot. Despite all the ads and the publicity, many people don’t take time to vote. Of course many more will show up in November, but it is important for whoever is elected President in that election to know how people feel on issues and candidates. It’s only by voting in every election that citizens are participating fully in democracy. There’s still a lot of work to be done.

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