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October 23, 2012

Contact: Shannan Velayas
(916) 653-6575

Early Estimate from State’s Elections Chief: Voter
Registration Likely to Reach Record High for Next Election

Already 679,000 confirmed new voters in final 45 days, number still climbing

SACRAMENTO - In the final 45 days leading up to the October 22 voter registration deadline for the November 6 election, more than 679,000 Californians were added to the state's voter rolls – a number that will go up as county elections officials continue to verify the eligibility of tens of thousands more last-minute registrants. Postmarks and online system timestamps count, so applications are streaming in to the 58 county elections offices this week and being checked for eligibility.

Official voter registration statistics will be published November 2. The last certified statewide data as of September 7 showed 17,259,680 Californians registered to vote. In California, voter registration application volume peaks each October before a November statewide general election (which comes in even-numbered years). The record high for California was 17,334,275 registrants, set in February 2009.

Of the more than 679,000 verified new voters so far, approximately 381,000 submitted their applications using the Secretary of State's online system and about 298,000 submitted paper applications.

Caution: Some people are focusing on raw numbers of applications submitted, which include applicants who are ineligible, people who submit more than one application, and applications were from the many registered voters updating their records. No voter registration is automatic. Because postmarks count, paper applications are still rolling in; the raw number of online applications submitted since September 19 – including ineligible, duplicate, and already-registered voters – is 1,023,775.

"I must emphasize these are preliminary numbers and not the final confirmed roster of eligible voters in California because county elections officials are now hard at work verifying each and every application," said Secretary of State Debra Bowen, California's chief elections officer. "After all 58 county elections officials send their registration data to my office, we will compile the certified statewide numbers and publish a final report of registered voters on November 2."

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