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Independent voters reach record in California

September 21, 2012 |  7:09 pm

Election clerk Michael Daniels collects a vote-by-mail ballot
More Californians than ever before are registered to vote without affiliating with a political party, Secretary of State Debra Bowen said Friday.

Bowen said the latest registration numbers show 3,672,229, or more than one-fifth of those on the voter rolls, listed no party preference.

Bowen said registration overall  is up from four years ago.  Today, 17,259,680 Californians--72.6% of eligible residents--are on the voter rolls, a gain of more than 1 million from September 2008.

Of those affiliating with a party, 43% are Democrats and 30% are Republicans.  Most of the rest belong to one of the five minor parties recognized by the state: American Independent, Americans Elect, Green, Libertarian and Peace and Freedom.

Earlier this week, Bowen's office launched an online voter registration system, www.RegistertoVote.ca.gov. For those who prefer the traditional method,  paper registration forms are available throughout the state at fire stations, public libraries, U.S. post offices, Department of Motor Vehicle office and from county elections officials.

The deadline for registering to vote in the Nov. 6 election is Oct. 22.


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Photo: Election clerk Michael Daniels collects a vote-by-mail ballot from a voter in Sacramento for the June 5 primary.  Credit: Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press