November 2, 2012
Contact: Shannan Velayas
SACRAMENTO - Final statewide voter data published today by the California Secretary of State show that 18,245,970 Californians, or 76.7 percent of those eligible, are registered to vote in Tuesday's presidential election. While the percentage of eligible Californians who are registered has remained relatively steady for more than a decade, the raw number of registrants is a record high in the state.
California's voting population has increased by 941,879 people since this time four years ago.
This year's voter registration figures did not beat the dramatic registration surge in the 2008 presidential election season. Voter registration always increases significantly in the final weeks before a presidential election, but registration activity in September and October 2012 was less robust than in the 2008 election cycle. In the final 45 days before California’s voter registration deadline four years ago, nearly 1.2 million people registered to vote; this year 986,290 people registered to vote in that 45-day timeframe.
"Seeing a record number of Californians registered to vote is wonderful, but there are still too many eligible people skipping the electoral process altogether," said Secretary of State Debra Bowen, California's chief elections officer. "Registering to vote is easier now than it was four years ago, yet fewer people actually registered in this final 45-day window than did in 2008. This makes it clear that it's not just a question of making voter registration easier; it's really about what inspires people to care about their democracy and be part of the decision-making process."
Twenty-one percent of all registered Californians have no party preference (known before 2011 as decline-to-state voters).
“Registering is just the first step. Now it’s time for the next two important steps: getting informed and voting by Election Day,” Bowen added. The highest voter turnout for a presidential election in California was 88.4 percent in 1964.
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-general-12.
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||370,405||2.14 %||477,129||2.61 %|
|Americans Elect||N/A||N/A||3,313||0.02 %|
|Democratic||7,683,495||44.40 %||7,966,422||43.66 %|
|Green||118,416||0.68 %||115,034||0.63 %|
|Libertarian||83,574||0.48 %||108,736||0.60 %|
|Peace and Freedom||56,350||0.33 %||61,987||0.34 %|
|Republican||5,428,052||31.37 %||5,356,608||29.36 %|
|No Party Preference||3,444,923||19.91 %||3,820,545||20.94 %|
|Miscellaneous||118,876||0.69 %||336,196||1.84 %|
|TOTAL||17,304,091||100 %||18,245,970||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.
Polls will be open on November 6 from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. All ballots, including vote-by-mail ballots, must be received by county elections officials by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
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.