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Registered GOP voters shrink to 29% in state, report says

Bowen

While other states loom as hotly contested battlegrounds for President Obama and Mitt Romney, new voter registration numbers for Los Angeles County are a prime example of why California has become predictably Democratic when it comes to national races.

The percentage of Republicans the state’s largest county has shrunk to 22% of the electorate, according to a report released by the L.A. County registrar-recorder/county clerk. Across the state, out of a record 18.2 million Californians now registered to vote, the percentage of Republicans has declined to about 29%. Four years ago, Republicans made up 31% of the state’s electorate.

According to the report, the number of registered voters in L.A. County increased by nearly 10% since 2008. Voters under the age of 30 now make up the largest proportion of L.A County’s voters, about one in five. About 19% of registered voters declined to state a party affiliation, just three percentage points less than identified as Republicans. Democrats were 50% of the county’s electorate.

County officials said that although voter registration in the run-up to the 2008 election, going back to 2004, was “historic,” the number of voters registered in the last four years outpaced that. This year, the number of people registering spiked during September and October, not surprising given the Nov. 6 presidential election. But county officials said the jump in registrations was also explained by the fact that on Sept. 19, California allowed residents to register to vote online.

“These figures suggest that online voter registration in Los Angeles County was immediately adopted as a popular voter registration method,” the report stated. “Of the 284,268 voter registrations received in the months of September and October, 42% were submitted online.”

The numbers were greeted according to party lines, with Democratic leaders touting L.A. as a “big blue beacon of hope for Democrats nationwide” and a Republican state leader telling the Washington Post that the new numbers reflected a registration system without enough safeguards.

However, last week KNX’s Claudia Peschiutta reported that despite being far outnumbered by Democrats in L.A. County, Republicans made up “close to half” of hundreds of inmates newly registered by L.A. County sheriff’s deputies and volunteers in the county jail system — though that’s not likely to be anything either party would want to tout.

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-- Hector Becerra

Photo: California Secretary of State Deborah Bowen shows a voter registration card and an online registration system. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

 

 
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