California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson this week released the certified Statement of Vote for the November 7, 2006 election. This report contains the final vote counts for all statewide, legislative and congressional contests and statewide ballot propositions. It also reports each county's voter registration and participation numbers.
However, some data that's not included in the most recent Statement of Vote is the number of "votes not cast" in each of the contests. While this data is not required by law to be included, it has traditionally been featured in the Statement of Vote and can be a useful tool in assessing the reliability of different voting systems. In fact, it was the "votes not cast" rate that was used by the ACLU to argue for the decertification of punch card voting systems several years ago.
According to the Secretary of State's news release announcing the Statement of Vote, 56.2 percent of the state's registered voters, or approximately 8.9 million Californians, cast ballots in the November 7 election. 41.5 percent of those who participated voted absentee, down from the 46.9 percent absentee voting rate in the June 2006 primary. Among eligible voters, the participation rate in November was 39.3 percent. To get a historical perspective on California's turnout rates, take a look at this section of the Statement of Vote.