Higher Even Than Turnout for Former Gov. Reagan's Presidential Elections in 1980 and 1984...
By Jon Ponder on 12/4/2008, 10:13am PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

It's interesting that voter turnout in California last month topped both of former Gov. Ronald Reagan's presidential elections, as well as all other elections going back to 1972 when Richard Nixon, another Californian, trounced George McGovern:

More than 60 percent of Californians who were eligible to vote cast ballots in the Nov. 4 presidential election, the highest turnout since Richard Nixon and George McGovern competed for the office in 1972, elections officials reported Tuesday.

The total includes all qualified citizens, including those who had not registered to vote. The percentage of registered voters who cast ballots statewide was 80.6 percentage --- 81.9 percentage in Los Angeles County...

The high turnout in Los Angeles County, not seen since 1968, was a result of several factors, including strong voter interest in the presidential race between Barack Obama and John McCain, according to Dean Logan, the county's Registrar-Recorder.

"It was the combination of an election that has historic significance to both major parties' tickets, the economic situation and the fact that there was no sitting president or vice president on the ballot," Logan said.

Controversial ballot measures, including a ban on gay marriage, also attracted Californians to the polls in high numbers.

The secretary of state will not post the voter totals until next week, but a survey of the counties indicates the highest turnout since 64.5% of all those eligible to vote cast ballots in 1972.

No word yet on the final tally of the vote for Proposition 8, the anti-gay measure that passed narrowly. There had been speculation that the more than 1 million absentee and provisional votes that were counted after the election might change the outcome.