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Orange County, CA Elections Certifies Primary Election Results

Orange County, CA Elections Certifies Primary Election Results

Highest turnout in Presidential Primary Election since 2000

SANTA ANA, CA - Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley has just certified the official results of the March Presidential Primary Election, held on Tuesday, March 3, 2020.

Total turnout from the election was 50.1% with 79.21% of voters casting their ballot by mail and 20.79% casting their ballot in-person at one of 189 Vote Centers throughout Orange County. The ballots cast for this Presidential Primary (817,844) was 18.2% higher than the 2016 Presidential Primary Election (691,802) and 91.5% higher than the 2012 Presidential Primary Election (426,869). 

On Friday, March 20, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-34-20, which, among other things, extended all deadlines associated with the official canvas of the March 3, 2020, Presidential Primary Election by 21 days.  This relief was in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the “ability of relevant state and local officials, including county elections officials and the Secretary of State…to meet statutory deadlines associated with (their) responsibilities”.  

Quote by Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley:
“I am thankful to the Governor for granting this statewide relief by extending the official canvas period for those counties needing the extra time. Despite the obstacles and challenges, we were able to complete the official canvas ahead of the original statewide schedule. I am grateful to the dedicated team members of the Registrar of Voters for their tireless efforts to implement a new way of voting and a new system of voting to the voters of Orange County”.

Prior to certification two audits were conducted to verify the correct outcomes of the election. The legally required one percent manual tally of precincts was completed. During this audit, 8,995 ballots were examined and manually tallied among 22 precincts chosen at random and then compared with the election results that were produced.

While not legally required, a risk-limiting ballot comparison audit (with a risk limit that was set at 5%, which means that there was a 95% chance that the audit would correct an incorrect outcome) was also conducted. 708 ballots were examined and compared to the original cast vote record in the risk-limiting audit with 0 discrepancies. Details on the audits can be found at

The Orange County Registrar of Voters also produces detailed reports focusing on overall turnout, turnout by precinct, turnout by districts, turnout by cities, and more. These detailed reports can be found by visiting


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About the Registrar of Voters:
The Registrar of Voters is responsible for conducting elections in the County of Orange, the fifth largest voting jurisdiction in the United States with 1.6 million registered voters. We are a County agency, which receives funding from the County's General Fund and periodic reimbursement from the federal government, the State of California and local jurisdictions. Read more >>

Media Contacts:
Neal Kelley
Registrar of Voters

For Background Information Only:


Orange County Registrar of Voters

NOTE TO EDITORS: For additional information visit the About Us page or call the Registrar of Voters media help line at 714-567-5197.