With voting closing in California's primary, ballot returns remain low in Sacramento County

With the top presidential nominees almost inevitable and only a few statewide and local races of interest, ballot returns in Sacramento County remain low as of Monday, March 5.

According to information compiled by Political Data Inc., 15 percent of eligible ballots have been returned to Sacramento County Voter Registration and Elections have been submitted. The last day to mail or drop votes for this election is today. 

The data shows that 19 percent of Republican and 17 percent of Democratic voters have returned ballots. Independent voters lag well behind, at nine percent.

The number of ballots returned is 68,777 for Democratic voters, 42,052 for Republicans, and 21,599 for independent voters.

Not surprisingly, voters 65 and older are participating at the highest rate, 35 percent. Likewise, voters 18 to 35 have the lowest ballot return rate, at four percent. 

The highest-profile statewide race is the contest to replace the late U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein. The three top candidates are Democratic Congress members Katie Porter and Adam Schiff and former Major League Baseball player and Republican Steve Garvey.

The low participation rate and Garvey's being the only high-profile Republican in the race are thought to favor Garvey, while polling shows Schiff, who has outspent Porter, to be positioned for a top-two finish.  

At Gov. Gavin Newsom's insistence, only one statewide measure, Proposition 1, is on the ballot. If approved by a simple majority, that measure will provide $6.38 billion in bond funds for mental health treatment facilities.  

In Sacramento, voters will choose among four candidates - Steve Hansen, Flo Joiner, Kevin McCarty, and Richard Pan - to replace Darrell Steinberg, who did not seek a third term. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two finishers will face off in November. 

Sacramento County voters also have the rare opportunity to fill a vacancy on the Sacramento Superior Court. Those three candidates are Noel Calvillo, Amy Holliday, and Bobby Luna.  

After polling closes, the county elections will post counts starting this evening. However, the final results could take weeks to tabulate. 

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