Final election results show almost 17.8 million Californians cast ballots in the election that ended on Nov. 3, the highest percentage of eligible voters to participate in a statewide election since 1952 and the third-highest percentage since 1910.
But this year’s participation by 70.8% of eligible voters may be even more historic due to the lower voting age. Since the passage of a constitutional amendment in 1971 to lower the voting age from 21 to 18, no California election has come close to turning out as many eligible voters.
“This was an election unlike any other in modern American history,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said in a video posted online Friday afternoon. “And it would not have been possible without the contributions of elections officials and poll workers alike. Their work maintained the resiliency of our democracy during a global health crisis.”
As a share of registered voters, only the presidential elections of the 1960s and ‘70s saw a higher turnout of Californians. And in raw numbers of votes in November, no state came close: More than one in every 10 ballots in the nation was cast by a Californian. Estimates show more votes tallied in California than in 20 other states and the District of Columbia combined.
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