SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Tuesday's primary election is just three days away in California, but so far, voter turnout has been low.
In an effort to spread the word and boost turnout, a canvassing event was held on Saturday by local grassroots organization Hmong Innovating Politics (HIP). The organization has been working to strengthen the political power of Hmong and disenfranchised communities through civic engagement.
"It's been very important for us to get the word out because not a lot of people know about the primary election, and I think this is especially prevalent for our southeast Asian community in South Sacramento — the language transparency and work that needs to be done in the South Sac area," said Dao Vang, field organizer for HIP.
Turnout was low for Saturday's event according to Vang. ABC10 also went to a voting center at Sac State where things were also slow.
"We've only had maybe three in-person voters and a few drop-offs," said Michael Craig, the site's voting inspector.
More than 21,000,000 ballots were mailed to registered California voters last month — but as of Saturday, only 13% of those ballots have been returned so far.
Political Analyst Steve Swatt points to a number of reasons for the low turnout, starting with a general lack of interest from the public.
"Second of all, there are very few competitive races this year. Certainly, at the top of the ticket for Governor, you've got what looks to be a wipeout. The latest polls show Gov. Newsom with a 10-1 lead over his newest competitor," said Swatt.
Swatt also says the lack of ballot initiatives in the primaries is keeping many voters away.
"Now all the ballot initiatives go on a November ballot and not on a June ballot," said Swatt. "I do believe that there are a lot of voters that are burned out on politics."
Regardless, Swatt emphasizes the importance of showing up on primary day to cast votes because it determines who the candidates are in November's general election.
"That's what it's all about. For many candidates, it's getting second place today so that you can live for another few months and compete in November," said Swatt.
A full list of voting sites in the greater Sacramento area can be found here.