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UPDATE: As of Tuesday morning, 11,650 mail-in ballots for San Clemente’s special election had been returned, according to the Orange County Registrar of Voters.
With a total of 41,525 ballots issued for this election, more than 28% have been submitted. Of the ballots that have been returned so far, 6,137—about 52.7%—represented the city’s registered Republican voters.
The Democratic vote accounted for 24.5% of the total returned ballots, while another 18.6% made up voters categorized as miscellaneous, the OC Registrar’s ballot data showed Tuesday morning.
Last week, San Clemente Times reported that 8,403 mail-in ballots had been cast out of the 41,484 ballots that were mailed out by Tuesday, Oct. 29. The OC Registrar’s office has taken in 3,247 ballots within the last week as well as sent out an additional 41 ballots.
According to the Registrar’s office, it will post the initial results of the election around 8:05 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Those results will be based on all of the ballots it will have received in the mail by Tuesday.
Ballots submitted to the OC Registrar must be postmarked for Nov. 5 and reach the office within three days.
For a complete list of all the candidates’ ballot statements, click the link here.
Below is the original story published on Oct. 31.
By Shawn Raymundo
With the special election to fill the vacant seat on the San Clemente City Council less than a week away, the Orange County Registrar of Voters is reporting that roughly 20% of the city’s registered voters had turned in their mail-in ballots.
As of Tuesday, Oct. 29, more than 8,400 of the city’s 41,484 voters registered to participate in the special election had cast their ballots. OC Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley said the agency expects to see a surge of ballot returns this weekend ahead of the Nov. 5 deadline.
“You actually get a kind of a surge at the very beginning and you get a surge at the end. I’m predicting heavy mail-in returns Thursday, Friday, Saturday,” Kelley said. “So you kind of see it bookended at either end of the graph; that’s pretty typical.”
The latest ballot data and participation numbers line up similarly with what the Registrar’s office sees on average during special elections, which are typically 15 to 20 points below participation during a general election, according to Kelley.
On average, he said, a special election will have anywhere from 25% to 28% participation, while the average for primary elections runs from 50% to 55%. As for general elections, the county registrar’s office will typically see an average of about 60% to 80%.
“You’re always going to get that drop-off in special elections,” Kelley said. “People may not be paying attention as much.”
Broken down by party affiliation, the ballot data shows registered Democrats make up close to 25.5% of the city’s registered voters, while Republicans make up a roughly 44.2% majority. About another 25% of San Clemente’s registered voters are categorized as miscellaneous.
As of early this week, GOP voters had accounted for 4,462 of the total ballots turned in. Just about 2,000 Democrats had returned their ballots, while 1,560 of the submitted ballots represented miscellaneous voters, according to the data.
According to Kelley, the registrar’s office will post the results on Tuesday, Nov. 5, around 8:05 p.m., based on all of the ballots it will have received in the mail by that day.
Ballots submitted to the OC Registrar must be postmarked by Nov. 5 and reach the office within three days.
Shawn Raymundo is the city editor for the San Clemente Times. He graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies. Before joining Picket Fence Media, he worked as the government accountability reporter for the Pacific Daily News in the U.S. territory of Guam. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnzyTsunami and follow San Clemente Times @SCTimesNews.