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


By: Secretary of State Debra Bowen

SACRAMENTO, Calif. March 26, 2013 - The percentage of California voters registered with a political party decreased from 78.9% to 77.1% since this time two years ago, according to a California Secretary of State report published today.

The newly released registration report shows 75.7% of eligible Californians are registered to vote. While that percentage is down since the 2012 presidential election, when 76.7% of eligible Californians were registered to vote, it is up from 72.8% at this same time two years ago.

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.

The February 10, 2013, Report of Registration reflects 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. The complete report is at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ror/ror-pages/ror-odd-year-2013.

"Voter registration often dips in an off-year when counties update voter rolls following a general election, but the good news is registration is still up by about 3% from this time two years ago," Secretary of State Debra Bowen, California's chief elections officer. "I built online voter registration, in part, to make it easier for the 25% of Californians who are eligible to register to vote but have not. It's now easier than ever to participate; so if you haven't yet registered to vote, or if you moved and need to re-register, fill out an application online right now."

By law, statewide voter registration updates must occur 60 and 15 days before each general election, and 154, 60 and 15 days before each primary election. One update is published in each odd-numbered year with no regularly scheduled statewide election.

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


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


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