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California voter turnout much lower than 2008

November 6, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Voter turnout in California was much lower this Election Day than in the last presidential election in 2008.

The Los Angeles County Registrar says 63 percent of voters have cast their ballots as of 8 p.m. That's about 14 percent lower than the turnout four years ago, but those figures will go higher as more precincts report.

In Cypress Park, voters waited at the door to be among the first ones to cast their ballots.

"Our vote does matter. It's an honor and privilege to vote, to be heard especially as a minority," said one voter.

During the last election, Cypress Park saw a huge spike in voters - but this year, despite a record 18 million Californians who registered to vote, turnout was expected to be down by about 1 million voters in California, according to a report. Turnout was 79.4 percent in the 2008 presidential election.

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"I'm here to vote because I'm standing on my religious views. I'm a Democrat but I'm voting for Romney because he believes in the same values and morals that I stand on," said one voter.

About 12 percent requested to vote by mail in California, and this is the first general election the Field Poll is predicting mail ballots will outnumber precinct votes.

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While all eyes are on the race for president, California does have a lot of important state propositions that will be closely followed as well.

"There's somebody for and against just about everything, so I don't think if people don't do the proper research and actually look into what's in the best interest of their community and for California, they can get lost in the shuffle," said voter Maurice Limon.

Because so many people opted to vote early, vote by mail or by provisional ballots, the registrar's office has a large number of votes that they will need to verify for eligibility to protect against fraud. This means that up to a third of the votes cast could remain uncounted as of Tuesday night, taking anywhere from two days up to a week until all votes are counted.

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