California election officials estimate that 23.7 million Californians could potentially vote - i.e. they are citizens over the age of 18 -- and know that 17.2 million of them are registered to vote.
They're still counting votes from last week's election, but it appears that 5.4 million ballots were cast in person or by mail. That was just 31.6 percent of registered voters and 23 percent of potential voters, a record-low turnout for a presidential primary.
Turnout will certainly be higher for the November presidential election, but how high? Four years ago, there were 13.7 million votes cast in California, nearly 80 percent of those registered and nearly 60 percent of those eligible.
Overall voter turnout in California is among the lowest of any state, but it could be much higher, the Washington-based Center for American Progress says in a new report, if more of the state's fast-growing Latino population would register and vote.
The organization says that there are 4.4 million potential voters among Latinos who are either age-eligible citizens who not registered (2 million) or who are eligible to become citizens (2.4 million), by far the largest numbers of potential voters in any state.
"The numbers don't lie," Angela Kelley, the organization's vice president for immigration policy, said in a statement. "U.S.-born Latinos coming of age as voters have a close connection to their family and their communities' immigrant roots. Add to that the immigrants themselves who are naturalizing and you've got a powerful lens through which candidates from both parties are being examined. If politicians either ignore or demonize immigrants, they can say 'adios' to ever getting a second look by these voters."
A recent Census Bureau report indicated that Latinos are approaching 40 percent of California's population and will become its largest ethic group within a few years.