Capitol Alert

California Senate special election has tiny turnout

Superior Court Judge Kelvin Filer, right, swears in state Sen. Isadore Hall, left, while Hall's mother Dorothy Vann, center, looks on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, in Compton, Calif. The former assemblyman won a special election to replace state Sen. Rod Wright, who resigned in September after being sentenced for lying about where he lived when he ran for office in 2008. (AP Photo/Office of Sen. Isadore Hall)
Superior Court Judge Kelvin Filer, right, swears in state Sen. Isadore Hall, left, while Hall's mother Dorothy Vann, center, looks on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, in Compton, Calif. The former assemblyman won a special election to replace state Sen. Rod Wright, who resigned in September after being sentenced for lying about where he lived when he ran for office in 2008. (AP Photo/Office of Sen. Isadore Hall) Office of state Sen. Isadore Hall

Turnout in Tuesday’s special election in Los Angeles County’s 35th Senate District stood at a puny 6.36 percent Wednesday.

The lowest of the modern era? Not quite. The title for paltry civic engagement goes to the Sept. 17, 2013 special election in Los Angeles County’s 26th Senate District, when just 5.55 percent of voters turned out.

In this week’s election, former Assemblyman Isadore Hall, D-Compton – one week removed from the end of his Assembly career – captured almost 55 percent of the vote, avoiding a February runoff. He will serve out the term of former state Sen. Rod Wright, D-Baldwin Hills, who resigned in September after being convicted on charges of lying about where he lived when he ran for the Senate in 2008.

As of Wednesday, Hall had 15,564 votes – about 1.7 percent of the more than 932,000 residents in the 35th District. Some precincts of more than 1,200 voters received only 20 ballots, according to unofficial results.

How does this week’s not-so-special voter participation compare to others? The chart below shows turnout in legislative, congressional and statewide special elections that were not consolidated with a regularly scheduled election going back to 1989. Hover over a bar for more information or change the year of election with the box on the right.

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Call Jim Miller, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5521. Follow him on Twitter @jimmiller2.

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