Mary Bedard.jpg

Mary Bedard is Kern County Auditor-Controller-County Clerk-Registrar of Voters.

I would like to address the Rev. Angelo Frazier’s Community Voices column, “Create a wave by fully engaging in process of voting” in Sunday's Californian. While we can all agree that Kern County has one of the lowest voter turnout rates in the state, and that a more engaged citizenry would be beneficial to our community, the 13 percent turnout figure he refers to is not an accurate reflection of actual voter participation. And I think it is important that voters understand how the vote-counting process works.

The 13 percent figure stated by Rev. Frazier reflects only those votes counted on election night, which are those mail ballots received by the Friday before Election Day and those voted in person at the polls on Election Day. With nearly 90 percent of voters voting by mail, and most of that arriving just prior to or on Election Day, or even during the week after Election Day if postmarked by Election Day, the results reported on election night represented just 35 percent of the votes cast. Nearly two-thirds of the votes still needed to be counted after election night.