More Than a Million New Voters, but Only Half Signed Up to a Party

The overall number of registered voters in California has gone up by more than a million in the past four years, but about half of them have shirked the major political parties, according to new data released by the Secretary of State's office on Friday.

The numbers seem to indicate more than just an increase in the population, too. We'll always have fewer registered voters than eligible citizens -- people procrastinate, miss deadlines, don't want to be bothered -- but even that gap has closed slightly. Seventy percent of adults who were eligible to register this time in 2008 had done so. That ratio has increased to 72.3 percent.

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However, more than half of those new voters have indicated "No Party Preference," an option that used to be listed as "Decline to State." Democrats gained a similar but slightly smaller number of affiliated voters, while Republicans lost more than 50,000.

Here's a breakdown comparing 2008 to 2012:

Mouse over for more details. | Source: Calif. Secretary of State

The numbers represent the final official tally ahead of the June Primary. That's because the registration period has closed for most people, although there's actually still time for newly sworn citizens to register and cast a ballot on Tuesday (more on that soon).

For now, I'll let Secretary Debra Bowen have the last word -- because we all need a good kick in the rear from time to time:

"If you are one of the millions of people registered to vote in the state, find your polling place on Tuesday and prove those pessimistic prognosticators wrong by driving up voter turnout for this important primary."

About the Author

Web Editor for SoCal Connected, KCET's award-winning television newsmagazine. He has worked in just about every medium, with stories appearing on TV, radio, Web, and print. He is also the editor of the Online Journalism Review at ...
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