18 Million California Voters Boost Record in Days Before Presidential Primary

California voters Al BehrmanAP Photo
Al Behrman/AP

California now has the highest voter registration in its history at near 18 million, with over 646,000 registrations in just 45 days, thanks in part to controversial Facebook’s two-day May registration push ahead of the June 7 Presidential primary election.

In just two days in mid-May Facebook ran a voter registration ad push that coincided with nearly 200,000 new California voter registrations. The company came under intense criticism days before the registration push over revelations that Facebook suppresses conservative news from its trending news topics. The essentially 200,000 registrations logged during the Facebook push made up over 30 percent of net registrations in the 45 days leading up to the May 23, 2016 registration deadline.

Democrats gained overwhelmingly the greatest number of new party members in that 45 day period with a 76 percent net increase in registrations according to the California Secretary of State. During that period, the net increase in registration across the state was 646,220. For comparison, the net increase in California voter registration over the four years since registration cutoff for the 2012 primary election was 761,354. That means that the net registrations in the 45 days prior to the 2016 primary make up over 84 percent of the net registrations in those four years since the 2012 primary.

Voters participating in the June 7 primary election could play an influential part in the Democratic Party presidential nomination as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton struggles to clinch the title over opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders. Sanders has been blanketing the state with events leading up to primary day. Voters in California have already been voting for weeks utilizing early voting and mail-in ballots. Clinton recently made an abrupt change to her campaign schedule to return to California for a host of last-minute campaign events.

“Nearly 18 million California citizens are registered to vote in the June 7 Presidential Primary,” said Secretary of State Alex Padilla.  “In the 45 days leading up to the voter registration deadline, there was a huge surge in voter registration—total statewide voter registration increased by nearly 650,000. Part of this surge was fueled through social media, as Facebook sent a reminder to all California users to register to vote. It is clear that Californians are engaged and excited about this election. Now the next step is to turn out and vote!”

An investigation into voter rolls revealed that hundreds of dead people still on California voter rolls mysteriously continue to vote. The KCAL-9 report was the exposé that pressured the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to say they would investigate the problem. Some of the deceased have had votes submitted for decades since being dead.

Californians registering as no party preference have more than doubled in number since February 7, 2000. Today that number is inching up on the total number of Republican registered voters in the state. No party preference voters number 4,177,648 as of May 23, 2016 compared to 4,888,771 Republican Party registered voters. Democrats make up 8,029,130 of voter registration in the state, while a minority of 819,504 are registered with various other parties.

By far the greatest increase for the state was in Los Angeles County with over 450,000 new net registrations between May 21, 2012 and May 23, 2016.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana 


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