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Voter registration spike linked to Facebook

Voters and potential voters at a political rally. (Photo: Joseph Sohm, via Shutterstock)

A hefty chunk of the new voter registrations for California’s June 7 presidential primary election occurred during a 48-hour period this week, stemming from a Facebook effort urging people to sign up, according to the state’s elections officer.

About 200,000 online voter registrations were completed on the secretary of state’s website on Monday and Tuesday, said Secretary of State Alex Padilla gratis norsk. “The spike coincided with a new Facebook effort to facilitate voter registration in California,” he said Thursday in a written statement.

“Monday’s registration activity was the second highest in the nearly four-year history of California’s online voter registration site,” Padilla said. “We appreciate Facebook’s commitment to increasing voter registration in our state.”

The Facebook post included a link to take users to Vote.USA.gov — a federal site with voter registration resources. That site sent California users to RegisterToVote.ca.gov.

On Monday, May 16, 143,255 registrations or updates of registration information were recorded. The next day, 56,717 were completed.

About 850,000 new voters registered between Jan. 1 and the end of March, according to figures compiled by political strategist Paul Mitchell of Political Data, Inc., and the pace of registrations has intensified since then as the primary nears.

Of the Facebook-driven spike, a third were young voters aged 25 or younger, and another 30 percent were aged 26-to-35, Padilla said.

According to the most recent state report of voter registration, as of April 8, about 70 percent, or 17.27 million, of California’s 24.6 million eligible voters had actually registered. The percentage is slightly less than in April 2012, when 71.87 percent, or 17 million, of the state’s 23.7 million eligible voters registered to vote.

Democratic registration was up slightly to 43.7 percent, or some 130,000 registrants, compared with 2012. Republican registration dropped to 2.8 percent, or 4.75 million voters compared with 2012.

Those who register without a party preference, a steadily rising number in recent years, now comprise nearly a fourth of the electorate – 4.1 million voters, or about 23.9 percent.

The next official update of June 7 registration numbers will be released a few days before the election, a Padilla spokesman said.

 


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