October 17, 2012
Contact: Shannan Velayas
SACRAMENTO - In the first month since launching, more than 544,000 Californians have submitted a voter registration application using the Secretary of State's online system. This is peak registration season; Californians must register to vote by October 22 if they want to participate in the November 6 election.
"Given all of the important issues on the November ballot, I am delighted so many Californians want to make their voices heard," said Secretary of State Debra Bowen, California's chief elections officer. "Since registering to vote is easier than ever with the quick online option, there is no excuse for not being ready to vote on Election Day!"
While over 544,000 people used the online application, and many more are submitting paper applications, county elections officials still must verify eligibility and check for duplicate records before adding someone to the official voter roll. Further, many of the applications are registration updates and not first-time registrants, so 544,000 online applications does not equate to 544,000 new voters. Final, official statistics for all registrations will be available November 2.
In California, voter registration application volume peaks each October before a November statewide general election (which comes in even-numbered years). Hundreds of thousands of registration applications are submitted in the final weeks before a voter registration deadline, especially in presidential election years. Voter registration applications must be submitted by midnight 15 days before the election. Postmarks count for paper applications, and online applications must be submitted – not started – by midnight on the October 22 deadline (online registration records are time-stamped upon completion).
Voter records are maintained by county elections officials, who will use the next few days after the wave of last-minute applications on October 22 to process and verify every one. After all 58 county elections officials send their registration data to the Secretary of State, the Secretary will compile the final statewide numbers with breakdowns by political district, political party, and more in the final Report of Registration on November 2.
The official California voter registration application is at RegisterToVote.ca.gov. Paper applications are available at post offices, public libraries, many government offices, and more.
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