Nice Work, California: You've Set A Record For Voter Registration
If there's one good thing that came out of the smoldering ruin that is the 2016 presidential election, it's that it may have galvanized more people to participate in their civic duties. In California, one sign of this is the continued growth of registered voters.
As announced by Alex Padilla, the California Secretary of State, 19,432,609 residents of the Golden State are now registered to vote, a record for our fair state. This accounts for almost 78% of all eligible Californians.
With the presidential election looming, more than 370,000 Californians registered to vote or updated their registration in the final week of September, according to a L.A. Times article. The number of registered voters continued to climb—an additional 20,000 Californians signed up after the last day to register to vote for the 2016 presidential election, reports the Times. Padilla said in a release that registration usually slows down after a presidential election, so the growth is regarded as something of an anomaly.
“I am proud that California citizens continue to break our state’s voter registration record. It is clear that Californians are engaged and want to be active participants in our democracy," Padilla said in a statement.
Looking into the numbers, we see that the majority of voters lean blue (duh). As of February 10, a total of 8,700,440 Californians are registered as Democrats, accounting for 44.8% of the total of registered voters. By contrast, 25.9% were registered as Republican, and 24.5% stated no party preference. Coming in third was the American Independent party, preferred by 510,486 voters. Also, 119,555 registered voters have aligned themselves with "miscellaneous" parties.
The record is uplifting news, especially in light of the less-than-desirable showing that voters had put up here in L.A. for the March 7 ballot. As we noted earlier this week, 20% of Angelenos turned out for the vote, just skirting the record low we'd set back in 2009 (when only 17.9% of voters took to the polls).