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Online voter registration continues to surge

More than 544,000 Californians submitted voter registration applications online in the new system’s first month, Secretary of State Debra Bowen said today.

“Given all of the important issues on the November ballot, I am delighted so many Californians want to make their voices heard,” Bowen said in a news release. “Since registering to vote is easier than ever with the quick online option, there is no excuse for not being ready to vote on Election Day!”

Californians must register to vote by October 22 if they want to participate in the November 6 election. Postmarks count for paper applications, but online applications must be submitted – not started – by midnight that day.

Many more Californians have submitted paper applications in recent weeks, but county elections officials still must verify eligibility and check for duplicate records before adding someone to the official voter roll. And many of the online applications are registration updates and not first-time registrants, so this doesn’t mean there’ll be 544,000 new voters. Final, official statistics for all registrations will be available Nov. 2.

Online voter registration is available at RegisterToVote.ca.gov; paper applications are available at post offices, public libraries, many government offices, and other locations.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.