Wednesday, July 6, 2022
2018 California Midterm Voter Turnout Breaks Records
By Sentinel News Wire
Published December 16, 2018

SACRAMENTO – Secretary of State Alex Padilla today certified the results of the November 6, 2018 General Election.

Of the 19,696,371 registered voters in California, 12,712,542 ballots were cast, the most ever for a California Gubernatorial General Election.


64.5% of registered voters cast a ballot. This was the highest turnout of registered voters in a gubernatorial general election since 1982.

Click here to view the complete Statement of Vote

Click here for video of the Secretary of State Certifying the Statement of Vote

“The November 6 General Election was historic. We saw record voter registration and record voter turnout,” said Secretary of State Alex Padilla. “Turnout was the highest for any midterm General Election since 1982. New laws to expand access to the ballot box including California Motor Voter, the Voter’s Choice Act and conditional voter registration have proven successful. We look forward to continuing this growth into the March 3, 2020 California Presidential Primary Election which is just 14 months away.”

November 6, 2018 General Election

November 4, 2014 General Election



Registered Voters




10.6% increase

Total Votes Cast




69.2% increase

Voter’s Choice Act

Five California counties—Madera, Napa, Nevada, Sacramento, and San Mateo—implemented a new model of conducting elections for the first time in 2018. In these counties, every registered voter was mailed a ballot, and voters had the option of returning their ballot by mail, at a ballot drop box, or any vote center open in their county.

All five counties exceeded the statewide turnout rate of 64.5%.


All five counties saw voter turnout that was higher than the county average during statewide gubernatorial general elections during the previous 20 years.

“The Voter’s Choice Act is a success through its first election year,” Padilla said. “Voters took advantage of the flexibility that vote centers and ballot dropboxes gave them in when and where they could cast their ballots. This is a very promising sign for the future of democracy in California.”


November 6, 2018 General Election Turnout

Historical Average – Gubernatorial General Elections (1994-2014)













San Mateo



In 2020, any county in California can adopt the Voter’s Choice Act model of conducting elections.

“The Voter’s Choice Act provides Californians with more days and more ways to cast their ballot. I believe we will continue to see increases in voter turnout as we continue to educate voters in these counties about their expanded early voting opportunities. I’m excited to see more counties adopt the Voter’s Choice Act starting in 2020,” Padilla added.

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