DB12:063
June 1, 2012

Contact: Shannan Velayas
(916) 653-6575

More than 17.1 Million
Californians Registered to Vote in June Primary

SACRAMENTO - Secretary of State Debra Bowen today announced 17,153,699 Californians are registered to vote in the June 5, 2012, Presidential Primary Election – up more than one million from this time four years ago.

The 15-day Report of Registration shows that since the last statewide primary during a presidential election year, the percentage of voters registered with a qualified political party decreased from 79.9 percent to 77.7 percent. The percentage of voters with no political party preference (known before 2011 as decline-to-state voters) continues to tick up, increasing from 19.4 percent four years ago to 21.3 percent now. During the same timeframe, the percentage of registered voters compared to the number of people eligible to register has increased from 70 percent to 72.3 percent.

The complete report, which includes voter registration data for a variety of political subdivisions, is at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ror/ror-pages/15day-presprim-12. The report reflects data gathered after registration closed on May 21 for the June 5 primary, with updates to voter registration rolls in California's 58 counties including the removal of registrants who have passed away, moved out of state, or have been determined to be ineligible to vote, as well as the addition of new registrants.

"If you are one of the millions of people registered to vote in the state, find your polling place on Tuesday and prove those pessimistic prognosticators wrong by driving up voter turnout for this important primary," said Secretary Bowen, California's chief elections officer. "If you have a vote-by-mail ballot and still have not mailed it, remember that every single ballot must be turned in to county elections officials by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day and postmarks don't count. At this point, be safe and hand-deliver your vote-by-mail ballot to your county elections office or any polling place in the county in which you are registered."

Polls will be open on Election Day from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Some county elections offices will be open over the weekend.

The registration totals for the seven qualified political parties and voters who have no party preference follow.

Political Party May 19, 2008 May 21, 2012
# Registered % of Total # Registered % of Total
American Independent 331,619 2.06 % 434,318 2.53 %
Americans Elect N/A N/A 3,030 0.02 %
Democratic 7,053,860 43.75 % 7,442,921 43.39 %
Green 120,725 0.75 % 110,724 0.65 %
Libertarian 79,711 0.49 % 93,657 0.55 %
Peace and Freedom 56,364 0.35 % 59,855 0.35 %
Republican 5,244,394 32.53 % 5,356,608 30.24 %
No Party Preference 3,128,684 19.40 % 3,654,608 21.31 %
Miscellaneous 108,430 0.67 % 168,094 0.98 %
TOTAL 16,123,787 100 % 17,153,699 100 %

California law requires statewide voter registration data updates 154, 60 and 15 days before each primary election, and 60 and 15 days before each general election. There is one “off-year” update released in February of years with no regularly scheduled statewide election.

About California's Primary Elections

The June 5 primary is the first statewide election conducted under California’s Top Two Candidates Open Primary Act, which applies to legislative and congressional contests. All candidates for a legislative or congressional office will be listed on one ballot and any voter may vote for any one candidate, regardless of party preference. Then only the top two vote-getters in each primary contest will move on to the November 6 General Election.

The Top Two Candidates Open Primary Act does not apply to candidates running for U.S. president, county central committees, or local offices. Qualified political parties in California may hold presidential primaries in one of two ways: a closed presidential primary, in which only voters indicating a preference for a party may vote for that party’s presidential nominee; or a modified-closed presidential primary, in which the party also allows voters with no party preference (NPP) – previously known as decline to state voters – to vote for that party’s presidential nominee. The Democratic and American Independent parties will permit NPP voters to request their 2012 presidential primary ballots; the Americans Elect Party has chosen not to participate in the June 5 primary; and the other four qualified parties will hold closed presidential primaries.

Keep up with the latest California election news and trivia by following @CASOSvote on Twitter. To subscribe to state election news via email, RSS feed or Twitter, go to www.sos.ca.gov/multimedia.

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