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Sacramento County Sees Low Primary Election Voter Turnout

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Election Day for the California primary is finally here.

In recent days, Californians have chosen to either return ballots by mail or drop boxes. For some in Sacramento, people may have opted to vote early in person or on Tuesday.

Whatever the method, voter turnout is still low so far, including in Sacramento County. Just before 3:30 p.m., turnout was 20 percent, according to Janna Haynes, a Sacramento County spokesperson.

Teddie Thomas says she knows her vote counts.

"Considering the state of the U.S., I would say very important," she said.

The voter says she's concerned about homelessness and affordable housing The polls opened at 7 a.m. and election workers have been busy non-stop.

Haynes showed CBS13 the inner workings of democracy in action. Room by room, she explained how every ballot is handled before tabulation. There's the mail sorter that snaps a picture of ballot signatures. Then, it's off to the extraction room.

"After the ballot leaves that machine, they come in looking like this. Although, these are empty now," Haynes said.

The extraction room is where the voter's identity becomes anonymous since ballots are removed from an envelope, she said.

Workers also look at anything that could obstruct a tabulator from reading a ballot.

Following the 2020 election, election offices have fallen under intense scrutiny as seen by a man video recording voters.

The tabulation room also has a 24/7 livestream for anyone to view what happens to ballots being counted.

On Tuesday, at least 10 observers walked in to see the process.

Haynes explains observers may be sometimes part of a voting rights or voting transparency group. Others are just curious about the process.

"I think what we found is people come in skeptical and they leave feeling very secured," Haynes said. "The process is so misunderstood by a lot of people but when you see it, not only is it fascinating, but you realize all the different checks and balances we have in place.

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