In a strong show of interest, half of Madera County’s 54,017 registered voters submitted their ballots, mostly absentee, in the consolidated presidential primary election June 7. The local registrar of voters, Rebecca Martinez, certified the results Friday.
Turnout for primaries over the past decade has ranged from 36.4 to 54 percent, according to the League of Women Voters of California.
The Grand Old Party, which since 1972 has dominated local elections, had a relatively weak showing this time. Meanwhile Democrats hit the upper end of their normal range of voter participation. Only 49 percent of voters June 7 were Republicans, 42 percent were Democrats, two percent were American Independent, and less than one percent each voted as members of the Libertarian, Green or Peace and Freedom parties.
Vote-by-mail ballots provided about 69 percent of all votes cast as precinct ballots continued their decline in usage.
Among presidential primaries: Hillary Clinton garnered 5,808 votes (52.3 percent) while Sen. Bernie Sanders took 4,852 (43.7 percent). Donald Trump received 9,976 GOP votes (77.2 percent), U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz got 1,355 (10.5 percent), Ohio Gov. John Kasich 835 (6.5 percent) and Ben Carson 491 (3.8 percent).
American Independents split their votes widely with 186 (40.8 percent) writing in unlisted candidates while Jill Stein (Green) and Gloria La Riva (Peace & Freedom) grabbed most of their party’s votes.
For U.S. senator, 4,977 (20.1 percent) rallied around relatively conservative Democrat Loretta Sanchez, 4,348 (17.5 percent) for Democrat Kamala Harris and 3,888 (15.7 percent) for Republican Phil Wyman.
For U.S. representative, incumbent Tom McClintock swept his race locally with 6,406 votes (69.4 percent) and Johnny Tacherra and U.S. Rep. Jim Costa received a Madera nod for a face-off in November by taking 41.2 and 39.2 percent of the vote, respectively.
Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, R-5th District, stomped his rival in Madera’s eyes by gathering 16,434 votes (64.5 percent). Mayor Robert Poythress cutoff hopes of a runoff election by holding 3,185 votes (62.5 percent) for Madera County District 3 supervisor. Cece Foley Gallegos did the same with 1,486 votes (67.8 percent) in her run for Madera’s District 1 city council seat.
Madera County voters approved Proposition 50, which allows legislators to be suspended without pay, heartily with 17,768 (73.8 percent) voting yes. Measure C, which enables a $485 million bond for area community colleges, had a healthy 13,337 yes votes (59.5 percent) locally.
Only 48 percent of the county’s adults are registered to vote, according to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates for 2015.
For detailed Madera County results, click here.