Politics

Voter registration could be at record levels

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The election is less than two weeks away and voter registration is on its way to setting a record, thanks to the new online voter registration site. While records are still being verified, California could see hundreds of thousands, maybe even a million, new voters this election.

"From preliminary numbers, 680,000 people have been added to the rolls; so we are on track to breaking the all-time high of voter registration record in the state," Shannon Velayas, spokesperson for the California Secretary of State's Office, said.

The California Secretary of State's Office credits the new online voter registration site for helping with the boost. More than half of the new registrations came through its website, which was launched only a month ago. The new method appeals to a generation accustomed to using technology in their everyday life.

"I had multiple friends on Facebook talking about, if you haven't registered to vote, here's the link," new voter Sydnie Whitesel said.

Campaigns involved in tight races see this new voter group as an opportunity to swing the outcome one way or the other. Gov. Jerry Brown's Proposition 30, for instance, which temporarily raises some taxes to fund public education and avoid more cuts, is barely ahead in public opinion polls, which motivated a number of students to register to vote so they can participate.

"There's a lot of different things that have to do with us this year, with Prop 30 and all; it's nice having a say," new voter Liz Griffin said.

New voters are attractive targets in the last push to Election Day.

"If it's polling 50-50, you bring out an additional 500,000 voters, we can absolutely make the difference in the election," Reclaim California's Future spokesperson Corey Timpson said.

The question is, how many of them will actually vote.

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elections, internet, politics, nannette miranda
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