Tuesday, November 2, 2010

voter turnout estimates

Voter turnout won’t be know for another few hours. But The Field Poll’s latest pre-election poll suggest the total Californai turnout will be about 9.5 milllion voters.

If this many people actually cast a ballot, that represents 55 percent of the registered voters. That would be the third lowest turnout this decade as well as the last four decades.

Turnout in the 2005 state special election (recall of former Gov. Grey Davis) was the lowest when only 50.1 percent of registered voters cast a ballot. The next lowest occurred in the 2002 off-year election. Again barely 50 percent of registered voters came to the polls.

So what does this imply for Idyllwild?

At 1:30 nearly 350 voters had come into Town Hall to cast a ballot. This does not include those who merely dropped off their mail ballot. For the June primary, 1,634 people were registered voters in Idyllwild. They cast about 734 ballots for a turnout of about 44.9 percent. Turnout for all of Riverside County was only 31.0 percent.

In the last non-presidential election, 2006, the county turnout was 51.8; But the Idyllwild precinct saw more 1,200 voters (walk-in and mail) for a 72.1 percent turnout.

Nearly 400,000 county residents requested a mail ballot and through yesterday, nearly half or 196,000 had already cast their ballots. If the Hill is somewhat like the whole county, we should expect that about 400 mail ballots have already been returned. If the walk-in voters at 1:30 were half the total, we can estimate 700 voters plus 400 mail ballots and maybe another 150 turned in today for a total of 1,250 ballots cast.

If the statewide turnout is close to 55 percent, then based on the past two elections, an Idyllwild turnout of approximately 75 percent is reasonable.

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