Almost 9 million Californians cast ballots in the 2003 special election that swept movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger into the Governor's Office.
Meg Whitman wasn't among them.
The billionaire businesswoman now running for governor herself in 2010 didn't vote in that special election, even after Business Week listed her among a group of top executives with "worse than spotty voting records" in a 2000 magazine story, public records show.
Whitman apologized for failing to vote "on several occasions" as she introduced herself earlier this year as a candidate to replace Schwarzenegger as governor at a state Republican Party convention in Sacramento. She said her failure to vote was a mistake for which she had no excuses.
"Every citizen should take time to vote, and on more than one occasion, I didn't," the former eBay chief told the GOP activists. "Voting is a precious gift handed down by generations of Americans. I regret not having delivered my vote on several occasions."
In fact, however, a review found Whitman regularly skipped elections in California and several other states where she lived and worked.
The review covered six states and a dozen counties, including towns and counties in Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, New Jersey, Rhode Island and California where public records indicated that Whitman lived, worked or attended college.
Mark Petracca, a UC Irvine political science professor, said Whitman's voting record is nothing anyone would brag about – unless you're one of her opponents.
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