Over 1 Million use California’s new online voter registration system
October 24, 2012
• Increases in registrations among young people, citizens overseas, first time voters
• “We strengthened our democracy”
Over 1 million (1,023,775) Californians used the state’s new online voter registration system by the time registration for the November elections closed Monday. The system had been in use for just five weeks.
Those who filled out the online registration form will now go through a verification process by county election officials before being added to the voter file. The official number of those registered will be released on Nov. 2.
“I am absolutely thrilled that so many Californians, especially young people, used this new system to register to vote,” says state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, author of the legislation that established online registration in California.
“While some states are suppressing the rights of voters, here in California we are significantly increasing participation. By so significantly increasing the number of citizens registered to vote, we strengthened our democracy,” says Mr. Yee.
While all demographic groups seemed to use the new system, early numbers suggest younger voters flocked to register online.
According to Political Data Inc., California's largest provider of voter information used by political campaigns, in the 31 counties that have reported, 28 percent of those registering online are under the age of 26, compared to only 12 percent of the current overall registrations in those counties, Mr. Yee’s office says.
A small uptick appears to also be coming from overseas and out-of-state Californians (typically students and members of the military), accounting for 2 percent of the online registrations in reporting counties versus only 1 percent of the overall registered voters in those counties.
The new online voter registration system allows citizens whose signature is already on file with the Department of Motor Vehicles to submit their voter registration form to their county elections office electronically via the Internet or a mobile device by visiting RegisterToVote.ca.gov.