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California Voter Registration Hits Record 18.2 Million

by Jane Susskind, published

California Voter Registration

In a statement released today, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen reports that California voter registration hit a record 18.2 million voters. The percentage of eligible Californians registered to vote, however, has remained relatively stable for the last decade, reaching 76.7% this year.

While California remains a heavily Democratic state, with 43.66% of registered Democrats, independent voters are an active and vocal force in California politics. Of the voters registered for Tuesday's election, 21% have no party preference. Moreover, the number of Californians registered Republican dropped to 29.36 percent.

The growing trend is reflected by the Democratic House, Senate, and Governor. The possibility of Democrats gaining a supermajority in the State Senate, a de facto single-party rule, is made even more clear in the final days before the election.

This year marks the first year California had the option to register to vote online. The Los Angeles Times reports on analysis by Political Data Inc., a bipartisan company, finding that at least 780,688 people used the online system for California voter registration. Young California voters, in particular, utilized the online system, with 61.5% of those registering online under age 35.

Secretary of State Debra Bowen notes that while registering to vote was easier than before, fewer people registered in the 45-day window before the deadline 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," said Bowen.

Below is the breakdown of party registration among those who used the 2012 California Secretary of State's online tool to register to vote:

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