BAKERSFIELD - Residents of the 16th Senate District vote Tuesday to elect former State Senator Michael Rubio's replacement. So far, elections officials say turnout is "so-so."
Four counties are voting: Kings, Tulare, Fresno and Kern. This includes most of southeast Bakersfield and a sliver of northeast Bakersfield. Election officials are predicting a close race between Republican Andy Vidak and Democrat Leticia Perez.
But so far, turnout is low in the counties with the most registered voters. As of 1 p.m. Tuesday, Kern County elections officials said turnout was about 16 percent. Mail-in and absentee ballots in Fresno County show about a 15 percent turnout.
But, in Tulare County voter turnout Tuesday was high, at 40 percent so far. Mail-in ballots counted so far in Kings County show turnout at 24 percent. Voters we spoke with weren't surprised.
"Very slow because people, they fed up with how much advertising both sides of the political sides," said Alberto Llamas, a Vidak supporter. "Let me tell you something. People are not very enthusiastic to go up to vote."
"Hopefully, it starts getting busier later on. I'm thinking it's the weather, but I hope people come out to vote because it's, I mean, it is really important and it doesn't take you that long," said Araseli Patino, a Perez Supporter. "It just took me like three seconds just to fill in a little bubble. That was it."
Vidak won the special election primary in June, but didn't get enough votes to avoid Tuesday's runoff.
If he wins Tuesday, this will not change the Democrats' supermajority in the State Senate. But, it will put the Republican party two winning seats away.