Once people know who won the election, they often don't care much about the details. There are, however, some interesting numbers to be found in the final Statement of the Vote that each county elections office submits to the Secretary of State in Sacramento. We've plucked a few numbers of note about the Nov. 6 election:
64 -- The percentage of registered voters who cast ballots in Merced County. That compares with 67 percent in Stanislaus County, about 75 percent in Madera County and a remarkable 84 percent in Mariposa County.
99 -- The percentage of voters who had a preference for president. Clearly the presidential race is what brought people to the polls or prompted them to mark their mail ballot. The participation rate was about 96 percent for the U.S. Senate and Congressional races and 96 percent for the 21st Assembly District race.
97.6 -- The percentage of Merced County voters who weighed in on Proposition 30. It passed, with 53 percent in favor. In contrast, only 91 percent of the voters marked "yes" or "no" on Proposition 40, the confusing referendum on state Senate Districts. It also passed, by the way.
65 -- The number of days until the next election in Merced County. On March 5, Atwater voters are being asked to approve a half- cent sales tax "to preserve the city's long-term financial stability and maintain public safety services." If approved, the tax would take effect immediately and run for 10 years.
Other numbers of note as we close out the year:
81 -- laws are on a list compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures as the most significant new laws around the country, and the state Legislature is responsible for 27 of them, or a third. As the Capitol Alert blog points out, this confirms the view that California legislators are the most active -- or most intrusive -- generator of new laws. The new laws cited by the national conference as significant included those that allow clergy members to refuse to perform same-sex marriages, prohibit prison workers from having sex with inmates, allow life-sentence offenders who were under 18 when they committed crimes to seek release, restrict picketing at funerals, protect breastfeeding rights, require car washes to recycle water and reform state pensions.
$50 -- will be the price of a new California vintage license plate, replicating the designs issued in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. The retro look plates can be ordered for any year model automobile, commercial vehicle, motorcycle, or trailer, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. A pre-order form is available at http://is.gd/7qOAld. We expect the Modesto area, which has such an appreciation for classic cars, will like the plates as well.