SAN DIEGO – Voter turnout for the California primary election is pacing to hit a historic low statewide and numbers have also been relatively low in San Diego County as well.

Early voting brought out a little more than 4,000 people, but in the last day or so before the primary the county says it’s received another 3,000 or so ballots cast.

“Between the presidential years and the gubernatorial years, the gubernatorial primary is by far the lowest turnout,” said Cynthia Paes, with the San Diego County Registrar of Voters.

Statewide just 13% of ballots have been turned in. According to California officials, this primary could break the record for lowest turnout for an election in state history. The record is currently held by the state’s 2014 primary which had 25% turnout.

“It’s unfortunate because there’s critical contests on this ballot. This is where you’re nominating the top vote-getters that will then go onto the runoff election in November,” Paes said.

In San Diego, the registrar says a 30 to 40% turnout may still be possible, despite a 60% voter turnout in the recall election last fall. The registrar has received more than 360,000 mail ballots back which is consistent with the 2018 primary, but much lower than in the recent recall.

This year in San Diego County, fewer vote centers will be available, but they will be more accessible and convenient under the recently passed Voter’s Choice Act.

“Voters can vote at any vote center in the county. If it’s more convenient to go to one near your work as opposed to home, the concept of an assigned polling place is no longer the case,” Paes said.

On Election Day, there will be 132 ballot drop-off locations and 218 voting locations open with extended hours from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For more information on other local races in the California June Primary and voting tips, check out our 2022 Election Guide.