Voter Turnout is Paltry ... What's Your Excuse?

Marin voter turnout was among the lowest in history, so we're asking Patch readers why they voted — and why they didn't.

Marin County Registrar Elaine Ginnold didn't hesitate to sum up the turnout from Tuesday's primary election.

"It was abysmal," she said Wednesday morning.

Preliminary results showed that 52,004 ballots were cast as of Tuesday night. Just 13.02 percent of the county's registered voters cast their ballots at the polls, Ginnold said, and 22.4 percent voted by mail, resulting in a total turnout of 35.42 percent.

Ginnold said the numbers would change because 20,000 to 25,000 ballots still need to be counted, including several thousand provisional ballots.

She said 19,119 voters visited the polling stations Tuesday.

"I'd say it's probably the lowest in history for a presidential primary election," Ginnold said. "I was shocked. It was very hard to predict what was going to happen because it was the first top-two primary we've had (for the Congressional race)."

President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney were on the ballots for their respective party's nomination. , D-San Rafael, received the most votes for a U.S. Congressional seat and is headed to a November general-election showdown with second-place finisher Dan Roberts, a Republican from Tiburon.

Also, was reelected to represent District 5 on the Marin County Board of Supervisors. James Chou was elected as Marin Superior Court judge, and Marc Levine and Michael Allen were in a tight race for state Assembly seat representing Marin.

Ginnold said in 2008 there was a presidential primary in February and a direct primary for everything else in June, and the June one also resulted in a turnout of about 13 percent.

About 25 people scurried around the registrar's office Tuesday night, taking inventory of ballots and supplies being dropped off from polling stations. The last batch of ballots arrived at about 10:45 p.m., she said.

Many voters dropped off completed ballots at polling places on Tuesday. That method, combined with absentee voting and casting ballots in person, leaves voters plenty of options to participate in our democratic form of government, she said.

"We're making it as convenient as we possibly can," she said. "Why don't more people vote? That's a really good question."

With so much on the line, Patch would like to know whether or not you voted, and why you did not. Please answer the appropriate poll question below, and leave a comment to explain your choice.

janna nikkola June 07, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Oops! I meant to write "The people we elected to represent us don't represent us and ignore our wishes and pass legislation that hurts us and the economy "WITHOUT" our knowledge.
Jerome J Ghigliotti Jr June 08, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Very well put, but I still think that the majority of non-voters do so out of apathy. They think that everything is just fine, and if they do not do anything that everything will continue to be just fine. I think that the remainder of the non-voters, probably those described by you, feel that they are impotent, that their vote will not count for anything.
Trish Boorstein June 08, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Perhaps if more Novatoans knew what was coming down the pike, they might think differently about their vote. The conditions are ripening up for a perfect storm. Kinsey is back at the helm, Arnold will most likely be reelected (I will do everything I can to prevent this, hopefully others will join in this effort), our Council majority is hoisting up the sails, our two interim planners Brown and Moore know exactly where they're taking us and it's not Shangrila, and our city manager is waiving his hook. What lies ahead for the passengers of this ship?
Jerome J Ghigliotti Jr June 08, 2012 at 03:05 AM
A big old iceberg, and there aren't enough life boats. I'm with you.
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