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Voter turnout and early returns in California are both on pace to fall below recent midterm elections

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Since Californians cast their votes on Nov. 6, about 3.4 million votes have already been returned, according to state data. That puts the state on track to end Election Day with 3.6 million ballots returned.

But as with ballots throughout the country, most voters don’t know the results of California’s early ballot returns until they arrive at the polls on Nov. 6. That’s because the state doesn’t tally vote totals the week after the election.

So as you head to the polls, remember: Only a portion of the votes counted will be reported by the secretary of state.

Fewer than 3.2 million voters have returned the November ballot in California as of Oct. 16, per the California Secretary of State. (If you return your ballot in paper form, it will be counted by the clerk’s office a week after Election Day.) That’s nearly 1 million more than what was reported at this point in 2016, and nearly a million more than in 2014.

Just a month before the 2016 presidential election, over a million votes were returned — a record number for a presidential election. But over six months before the 2018 midterm elections, early votes have returned closer to what they were at this point in the 2014 midterms.

On a preliminary statewide turnout, voter turnout statewide stands at 39.2 percent as of Oct. 15, just over 10 days before the election. That’s below the average turnout in previous midterm elections, and an increase from 2015.

From a politics perspective, these early returns might signal two things: Democrats are engaged and Republicans are alarmed. So far, both trends are being reflected in the early vote returns.

Voter turnout throughout the state of California is on track to be lower than what’s been observed in previous midterm elections. These voters already expressed their feelings about Gov. Jerry Brown and Donald Trump in their vote on Nov. 6, according to early returns:

Women made up nearly 40 percent of early voters, twice as much as in previous midterms.

The 53 percent of early voters who identified as Latino or a member of another Latino racial group voted at a rate of nearly 67 percent, versus 54 percent last time around.

Around 65 percent of early voters cast ballots in favor of eight of the nine propositions on the ballot, including four on school funding.

Of the 13 propositions that voters rejected, four were for the proposition to require a vote on new taxes.

All voters can vote early or by mail. But the state has sought to simplify the process, and now only two parties accept mail ballots. So far, just 35 percent of registered voters have cast early ballots by mail — similar to the 34 percent of early voters who cast ballots by mail at this point in 2012. This is not the first time a record number of early voters have chosen to vote by mail, as the state saw a similar turnout in 2006 (59 percent) and 1994 (57 percent).

This article originally appeared on Time.com

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