California election officials have nearly 1.4 million votes left to count from the June 7 primary, Secretary of State Alex Padilla estimated Thursday.
That would boost the number of voters to nearly 8.7 million, more than 48 percent of those registered in the state, a turnout that exceeds the 44.7 percent predicted by the Field Poll several days before the election. The turnout also exceeded the 31.1 percent of registered voters who participated in 2012 presidential primary, but will fall well short of the 57.7 percent of registered Californians who cast ballots in 2008 when Barack Obama was running for the Democratic nomination against Hillary Clinton.
As of Thursday, Clinton maintained a double-digit lead over Bernie Sanders in this year’s Democratic contest in California, 54.9 percent to 44.1 percent.
County officials have until July 5 to finish counting votes, a task that has been stretched in recent elections because an increasing number of vote-by-mail voters are returning ballots on Election Day.