Turnout for Tuesday's primary is low, as usual, SLO County clerk says

slinn@thetribunenews.comJune 3, 2014 

Staff Sgt. Alex Rosario has overseen elections overseas, but Tuesday, June 3, 2014, was the first time he cast a ballot in the U.S. He drops off his vote-by-mail ballot at Precinct 525 in San Luis Obispo as Johanna Cresmer, lead precinct inspector, looks on.

DAVID MIDDLECAMP — dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Voter turnout was typically low for Tuesday’s primary election, according to Julie Rodewald, San Luis Obispo County clerk-recorder.

As of 10:10 p.m., with 49.67 percent of precincts reporting, county staff had received 38,302 ballots from about 25.4 percent of registered voters, Rodewald said.That included about 32,400 absentee ballots received as of Monday, she said.

Rodewald and her staff hoped to have poll ballots counted by 11 p.m. Tuesday.

On Wednesday, she said, she’ll know how many vote-by-mail and how many provisional ballots were turned in Tuesday. But vote-by-mail ballots won’t be counted until Friday, and county staff won’t start counting provisional ballots until next week.

“We’ve always gone over 40 percent in San Luis Obispo County, so I’m hoping we’ll see that turnout,” Rodewald said.

Although presidential elections typically attract about 80 percent of registered voters, with primaries during presidential election years attracting 50 percent to 60 percent, Rodewald said voter turnout for primary elections in non-presidential election years tends to be much lower, about 40 percent.

San Luis Obispo County saw its lowest turnout at a special primary election for the state Senate 15th District race in June 2010 that took place two weeks after the statewide primary election, Rodewald said. Whereas 47 percent of voters filled out ballots for the regular primary, only 37.87 percent turned out for Election Day later that month, she said.

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