Politics

Election 2014: California's primary was of secondary interest to most voters

Los Angeles County Sheriff candidate Jim McDonnell easily won the primary on Tuesday night.
Los Angeles County Sheriff candidate Jim McDonnell easily won the primary on Tuesday night.
MayaSugarman/KPCC

Tuesday was primary day in California, with all the top statewide offices on the ballot, plus the entire Assembly and half of the State Senate.

Every seat in the House of Representatives was on the ballot, and in L.A. County there were rare open races for sheriff and two seats on the powerful Board of Supervisors.

And, yet, voters still managed to approach a record low for turnout, with only 18.3 percent of registered voters participating in the mid-term election, according to the final election night tally from the Secretary of State's office. The lowest turnout on record came during the 1916 primary election, when just 18.16 percent of registered voters cast a ballot. The lowest in recent memory was in the June 2008 primary, with 19.75 percent.

This was the first time the so-called "jungle primary" was in effect for statewide offices. Under this new system, the top two finishers will advance to the November runoff, regardless of party affiliation. The policy is in effect for federal offices as well.

Perhaps it was the inevitability of Democratic victories in this deeply blue state that kept many voters at home. But that was no consolation for candidates who were in contested races.

View complete results »

This story has been updated.