The voter turnout in San Diego County on Tuesday’s Gubernatorial Primary election was only 20 percent, according to a KPBS report.  Registrar of Voters Michael Vu, however, said that there are about 98,000 absentee and provisional ballots to be counted and that could push up the county’s meager turnout figure.

“If they put all 98,000 ballots into the count, that will be about a 27 percent turnout, so that’s what we’re shooting towards,” Vu said.

Golden Hall observers watched results posted from Registrar of Voters Office. Photo by Chris Stone
Golden Hall observers watched results posted from Registrar of Voters Office. Photo by Chris Stone

Some provisional ballots could still be disqualified he said.

Vu had predicted a 35-percent voter turnout on Monday; however, the National University System Institute for Policy Research had predicted a 18-to-23-percent turnout, citing “local voter fatigue and low-profile contests.”

In the last 18 months, San Diegans have selected a new mayor, a city councilwoman, a state senator and an assemblywoman — mostly in separate special elections. The mayor and council races each resulted in two votes, a primary election and a runoff.

On Friday, John Nienstedt of Competitive Edge Research predicted turnout of around 22-26 percent, based on trends at the time. On Monday the projection was edged upward to 25-27 percent in the City of San Diego, and around 28 percent for the county as a whole.

Absentee ballots that arrived in the mail Tuesday will be counted later Wednesday and an updated result could be posted sometime Wednesday night, Vu said.

The potential impact of the uncounted ballots on the close race between County Supervisor Bill Horn and his challenger, Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood, was unclear. The uncounted ballots haven’t been sorted by geography, so it is unknown how many came from the North County region represented by  Horn, according to Vu.

Horn is currently leading Wood by 1,378 votes out of 56,562 votes cast.

City News Service contributed to this report