National University System Institute for Policy Research

(858) 642-8498 Get Started

Lowest voter turnout expected in 30 years

Digital Team, FOX 5 SAN DIEGO

Monday, November 3, 2014

View Article

“Our earlier projection of a shift from a ‘red,’ Republican-dominated summer election to a ‘purple’ mixed fall election has not materialized, nor have the infrequent, younger voters who skip primaries and show up for general contests,” said Vince Vasquez of the NUSIPR. “While this may be good news for local GOP candidates on the ballot, a greater public dialogue is needed about the real troubling undercurrents of this phenomenon.”
Since 1982, turnout in San Diego County for general elections in which a governor’s race leads the ballot has ranged from 48-67 percent, Vasquez said.
He said a combination of demographic shifts, technological advances and electoral reforms might send the region and California as a whole into a new period of low-turnout elections.
While the increased use of absentee ballots has made voting easier, it hasn’t increased participation, according to the report. Also, newly registered voters in California are not used to voting frequently, either because they’re young or are from ethnic groups that have been marginalized in the past, Vasquez said.
He added that many new voters are declining to state their party preference, so they may not be motivated to vote for one side or another.