OC Voter Turnout Way Down

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- Well it's certainly still a game of numbers. Here is the latest from the Registrar's office.
As of 6 p.m., 35 percent of Orange County's 1.3 million voters have cast their ballots at local polling places. Again, it's a fraction of the 2004 general election turnout, which at the same time that year was 63 percent.

The turnout figure is based on voting in 16 randomly selected precincts, said Brett Rowley of the registrar's office.

The number of registered voters in Orange County stands at 1.6 million, with 713,986 Republicans, 511,641 Democrats, 34,500 American Independent, 10,254 Libertarian, 7,461 Green Party and 4,192 Peace and Freedom, Rowley said.

There are also 319,293 voters who declined to state an affiliation -- the fastest-growing category of voters in the county, Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley said.

Kelley said 83 percent of eligible voters in Orange County are registered to vote.

Now here's the political rub. The number of mailed-in ballots is higher than in 2004 -- about 10 percent higher. A spokesman for the Registrar says they will do one final pick up at the main post office at 8 p.m., which means that number will go up.
So read between the lines. In a predominately Republican county, the low turn out would bode well for a Democratic candidate. But the Republican vote could come from behind based on the margin among the mail in ballots.
Stay tuned until 8 o'clock.

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