Over the past several months, Pew collected data about the 2012 presidential election from nearly every state and the District of Columbia. We used the findings to create a snapshot of each jurisdiction, focusing on how many people voted, how long they waited to cast their ballots, how they cast them, and how many ballots were not counted. These snapshots will be released over the coming months, five at a time, and the Election Data Dispatches will take a closer look at the latest snapshots each week.
In November 2012, more than 1 million provisional ballots were issued in California, the most ever by any state. This was more than 8 percent of all ballots cast in the state. More than 175,000 of these were rejected.
Additionally, slightly more than half of the ballots cast in California were domestic absentee ballots, continuing a decades-long trend of more votes being cast statewide by mail.
Overall, however, both the state’s turnout rate of 55.5 percent and registration rate of 65 percent were among the lowest in the country in 2012.