Low Turnout Expected for 2022 California General Election

THE CALIFORNIA CAPITOL: Upon the conclusion of the elections, the new representatives of California will gather within the California Capitol building for state legislature meetings. (Jeff Turner/ Creative Commons)

Election day is fast approaching with many contemplating participating in the 2022 California General Election. There are many crucial initiatives that must be decided, ranging from betting to music instruction in public schools. There are also city council and congressional elections that are getting heated. However, despite the importance of the election, recent data shows drastically lower participation rates compared to the presidential election. Common reasons for low voter turnout are apathy, hectic weekly schedules, or failure to register to vote. Indeed, analysts worry that even with voting by mail, voter turnout in this Nov. 8 election may be low. 

“I think many voters don’t pay attention to politics in general,” said GCC political science professor Cameron Hastings. “Sometimes this leads to apathy or they just might not feel as informed or educated on the issues as they should be, so they don’t vote,” she continued. During the 2018 California General, only 57% of registered Los Angeles county voters participated in the election. This figure may seem high compared to other counties, but considering the population density in L.A, it is quite low. `However recent data shows that there was a gradual increase in voter turnout for the 2020 California General. 74% of Los Angeles registered voters participated, and out of those votes, 78% voted by mail, according to the California Secretary of State’s website. 

One key factor that may have skewed voter turnout is that residents were inadvertently forced to become more familiar with topical issues. With the increasingly fragile political climate, one cannot escape hearing some form of news coverage concerning our nation’s domestic conflicts. This in turn encouraged residents to get registered and vote during the general election. Additionally, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many individuals were able to take advantage of the vote-by-mail ballot option, which accommodated the needs of those who have a busy work life as they no longer needed to worry about the polls.  

Evidence of this is seen in a sample survey of 35 students conducted by Jessica Galán. While the poll is not scientific, it aligns with other polls. The main demographics were 19-25-year-olds who identified as a person of color. 74% answered saying they would be voting in this year’s general election. And 85% answered they would be voting by mail as it is more practical. “There’s a lot at stake in this election, mostly here in L.A,” said Manuel Zendejas of Cal State Northridge, 21. 

The California General Election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. More information regarding the election can be found below.

Jessica Galán can be contacted at: [email protected]


Link to general information concerning the election: https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/upcoming-elections/general-election-nov-8-2022 

Link to key dates and deadlines: https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/upcoming-elections/general-election-nov-8-2022/key-dates-deadlines