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Below-Average Voter Turnout in November Election

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen has certified the results of last month’s general election. As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, the turnout rate was a below-average 72%.

For all the buzz over the November election, voter turnout didn’t keep up. The 72% turnout fell short of the 79% rate in both the 2008 election and the state’s hundred-year average. Of the 13.2 million Californians who cast ballots, more than half did so by mail. That’s the first time ever in a general election.

In the end, California gave its 55 electoral votes to Barack Obama. The president won 60% of the vote to Mitt Romney’s 37%. Governor Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 finished with 55%. And two statewide measures that lost finished closer than it appeared on Election Night. Prop 34, to abolish the death penalty, lost 52 to 48%; Prop 37, requiring the labeling of genetically modified foods, fell by fewer than three points.

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