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Ink pens spell out "VOTE" at a Kern County polling place in this Californian file photo.

Three out of 10 registered voters in Kern County exercised their right to vote in the June 5 primary earlier this month.

According to the latest ballot count update from Kern County Elections, 111,917, or 30.7 percent of 364,065 registered voters in the county, filled in those tiny ballot bubbles.

Not a great number, but better than the 22 percent calculated by the department the day after the election. At that time, there were as many as 29,500 ballots that had not yet been counted, said Karen Rhea, the county's assistant registrar of voters.

Participation was higher two years ago during the primary of June 7, 2016, according to Elections.

That June, 138,893 Kern residents out of 340,603 registered voters went to the polls or mailed in ballots. That's more than 4 out of 10 who exercised their right to vote. But that was a presidential election year, and presidential years traditionally draw more voters.

One bit of good news: The number of registered voters in Kern grew by nearly 7 percent in the past two years.

The bad news? Nearly 70 percent of registered voters didn't bother to vote.

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