DB13:098
September 21, 2012

Contact: Shannan Velayas
(916) 653-6575

Off-Year Voter Registration Report:
Fewer Voters Registering with Political Parties in California

SACRAMENTO - Statewide voter registration numbers published today by Secretary of State Debra Bowen show that of the Californians registered to vote, 3,672,229 have chosen no party preference – a new all-time high. The previous record raw-number high of unaffiliated voters was 3,654,608, reported in the Secretary's last Report of Registration in June.

A total of 18,055,783 Californians are currently registered to vote – an increase of 869,252 since the last off-year report, but down from the raw-number high of 18,245,970 in the fall of 2012. In the last two years, the percentage of voters registered with the Democratic Party decreased by 0.1% and voters registered with the Republican Party decreased by 2%. The number of registered voters with no party preference has increased by more than 259,000 during the same timeframe.

As of September 7, a total of 17,259,680 Californians are registered to vote, representing 72.6 percent of eligible Californians, up from 69.8 percent this time four years ago.

"As Californians hear more about the important issues on the November ballot and as we approach the October 22 deadline to register, those numbers will continue to go up," said Secretary Bowen, California’s chief elections officer. "Filling out a voter registration application online or on paper takes just a few minutes, and I expect to see tens of thousands of new California voters this presidential election season."

The complete report, which includes voter registration data for a variety of political subdivisions, is at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ror/ror-pages/60day-general-12. The report reflects data gathered 60 days before the November 6 General Election, 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.

Secretary Bowen launched online voter registration earlier this week, making California one of just a handful of states to offer the option. Eligible people can fill out an application online at RegisterToVote.ca.gov. Californians can also pick up a paper voter registration application in many places throughout California including U.S. post offices, public libraries, Department of Motor Vehicles offices, and county elections offices.

The deadline to register to vote in the November 6 general election is October 22. The last day to request a vote-by-mail ballot is October 30. Californians can check their voter registration status through a portal at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/registration-status.

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

Political Party September 5, 2008 September 7, 2012
# Registered % of Total # Registered % of Total
American Independent 333,609 2.06% 434,438 2.52%
Americans Elect N/A N/A 2,998 0.02%
Democratic 7,101,442 43.91% 7,478,915 43.33%
Green 116,334 0.72% 109,488 0.63%
Libertarian 78,935 0.49% 94,620 0.55%
Peace and Freedom 54,989 0.34% 59,232 0.34%
Republican 5,227,489 32.32% 5,197,177 30.11%
No Party Preference 3,151,369 19.49% 3,672,229 21.28%
Miscellaneous 107,605 0.67% 210,583 1.22%
TOTAL 16,171,772 100% 434,438 2.52 %

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.

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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