With about 68 percent turnout locally, California’s test run of a new election model in Madera County appears to have been a success, according to the Madera County Elections Department.
This month’s voter turnout of 67.86 percent (38,933 votes as of Monday’s count) was higher than any midterm in the last 20 years, which is as far back as online registrar records go. The last midterm election (2014) had a 52 percent turnout.
“Implementing the Voter’s Choice Act and making the voting process more convenient, more accessible, and more efficient has proven to yield the results we were hoping for,” said County Registrar Rebecca Martinez. “All Madera County voters should be proud. I know that I am proud of them.”
The county had 57,372 voters registered for this midterm election, more than half of the eligible voters. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates 156,890 people lived in the county as of 2017, and 27.4 percent of those residents were under the voting age of 18.
To carry out the state’s 2016 Voter’s Choice Act, California selected Madera County as one of 14 counties to test an election model in which every voter is mailed a ballot, in-person early voting is expanded, and voters can cast a ballot at any vote center in the county. Only five of those counties chose to participate in the test.
With this test run behind, all 58 of the state’s counties may choose whether or not to adopt the new model beginning in 2020.
“The team has done a magnificent job from the very beginning,” said Martinez. “Our cadre of Vote Center workers, the team at my office, county employees and the support we received from our vote center hosts was simply remarkable.”
Local election results can be viewed online at votemadera.com.