Did you vote? That's a question still asked on "Election Day." These days, though, a "no" answer doesn't mean someone has shirked her is her civic responsibility. Just as frequently -- or even more frequently -- voters are sending in absentee ballots or voting early at the office of their county registrar.
Obviously, the primary reason why so many candidates are pumping huge amounts of money into their campaigns is because they can. Still, absentee voting is another huge incentive in both primary and general elections.
In 1990, for example, 15-percent of registered voters cast absentee ballots in the primary election, 18-percent several months later in the general election.
Ten years later, more than 23-percent of voters mailed in their ballots in the primary election, 24-percent in the general election.
The number of absentee voters continues to grow. By last year, when California held a special election to decide on Governor Schwarzenegger's budget reform issues, the dye was cast long before the polls opened on "Election Day." More than six of every ten ballots arrived by mail, and down went the Governor's budget fix.
Primary Election Day comes on June 8. Expect turnout to be lighter than usual, even for an off year election. It's not so much a lack of interest. It's more a case that many of the ballots are being filled out at home and they'll be in the mail soon.