California Voters Kicked Ass!

A couple of days ago I wrote a post saying that turnout in California had been lousy, probably because of our stupid jungle primary that frequently gives us uninteresting general election contests. But I based that on this data from the California Secretary of State:

Unfortunately, I didn’t know that the historical data was final while the current data was provisional, which means they weren’t even remotely comparable. In short, I totally blew it, and when I recalculated the numbers to give me turnout as a percentage of eligible voters (rather than registered voters) I was, of course, still way off. So what was the voter turnout in California? David Dayen has the approximate answer:

  • Total Election Day votes in the governor’s race: 7.3 million.
  • Total unprocessed votes as of today: 4.9 million.
  • Total eligible voters: 25.2 million.
  • There are still a few counties not reporting everything, so the total number of votes will continue to increase by maybe half a million votes. The likely final number of votes is approximately 12.7 million.
  • Total turnout when everything is finally finished: probably about 50 percent.

Here is a corrected chart:

Turnout in California was almost certainly a smidge higher than the national average. Unfortunately, we won’t have a final answer for another month or so. I don’t know why, but that’s how things work here in the center of the Resistance.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.