California is the closest thing we have to a political lab for engineering a solution for the country's voter apathy problem. From permanent absentee voting to term limits and redistricting reform and now a top-two primary system, California has tried just about every remedy imagined to help boost voter participation in the state. The result: turn-out in the Golden State last year for both the primary and general election was the lowest it has been in recorded history. Did reform fail? Was it a failure of candidates themselves? Or is there something more that California's lack of voter interest can tell us about why/how reforms to voting systems impact actual voting behavior?

At a conference organized by the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California at Berkeley - called California Votes 2014 - some of the smartest and most plugged-in political professionals in the state tried to diagnose the state's lack of interest in the 2014 election.

Before we get to the question of why voters didn’t turn out, it’s notable that California’s low turn-out election didn’t bring

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