Midterm primary turnout in California highest since 1998

Midterm primary turnout in California highest since 1998
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Voter turnout in California's midterm primary elections was reportedly the highest its been since 1998, according to new numbers.

The Associated Press reported Friday that more than 37 percent of registered voters cast a ballot during the state's June primary, a 12 percent increase from the previous midterm primary in 2014.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D) certified the results on Friday, according to the report.

This year's figures are comparable to voter turnout in the 2006 and 2010 midterm primaries, when 33 percent of registered voters came out.

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“While these numbers show great progress, we know that we still have more work to do,” Padilla said Friday, according to the AP. 

Mindy Romero, director of the California Civic Engagement Project at the University of Southern California, also told the outlet that California typically ranks in the bottom fourth of states in voter turnout. 

However, high-profile contests such as races for governor and U.S. Senate likely helped spur turnout this year.

In cities such as Sacramento and San Mateo, Calif., all registered voters were mailed a ballot with the goal of increasing turnout, the AP noted. In San Mateo, voter turnout jumped by about 17 percent from 2014. 

Overall, the five counties in California to use the new model experienced an increase in voter turnout.

The news of large voter turnout in California comes as Democratic lawmakers try to seize on opposition to President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand urges opposition to Kavanaugh: Fight for abortion rights 'is now or never' Trump claims tariffs on foreign nations will rescue US steel industry: report Bannon announces pro-Trump movie, operation team ahead of midterms: report MORE to retake both the House and Senate in this November's midterms. 

Democrats currently have a 10-point lead over Republicans on the generic House ballot, according to a Washington Post-Schar School poll released last week.