This year, thanks to the unconventional and highly visible presidential campaigns of Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders, politics have been front and center.
That’s especially true in Fresno, where Trump, Sanders and Bill Clinton, husband of Democratic presidential front runner Hillary Clinton, all came to town last week, and Hillary herself is scheduled to come through this weekend.
For all that, the political coattails don’t seem to be extending to city of Fresno voters. And that, by extension, means the battle to succeed Ashley Swearengin as the city’s next mayor.
As of Wednesday – less than a week before Election Day – only 24,435 Fresno city voters had returned their mail ballots, according to Political Data Inc., which provides voter rolls and election data to California political campaigns. That means turnout so far is 10.9 percent.
Things could change. Ballots could start flooding into the county elections office between now and next Tuesday. Or the actual Election Day poll turnout could see a surge in voters.
But to date, the turnout is dismal.
In the April 31st Assembly District special election battle between Republican Clint Olivier and Democrats Joaquin Arambula and Ted Miller, turnout was 11 percent at this point. And special elections are always considered to have the lowest turnouts of all elections.