State voter registration at historic high; L.A. County numbers up too

Voters line up outside at a Hasley Canyon Village polling place in Castaic in 2012. Signal File Photo

The Santa Clarita Valley has a close-to-even split between Democratic and Republican voters leading up to midterm elections as of Sept. 7, according to state documents.

The Secretary of State’s office announced Tuesday that voter registration by congressional and state Assembly districts was up.

As of Sept. 7, 60 days before the election, there were 19,086,589 Californians registered to vote, the highest total in state history, according to a news release.

Similar to the 2016 election, the Santa Clarita Valley has marginally more registered Democrats than Republicans throughout its districts, including ones with upcoming races.

In the Los Angeles County portion of the 25th Congressional District, where Rep. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, and his Democratic challenger Katie Hill are going head to head, there were 120,579 voters registered as Democrats, 99,297 registered as Republican, 9,383 registered for American Independent Party and 1,000 for the Green Party.

In the L.A. County region of the 38th Assembly District, where Assemblyman Dante Acosta, R-Santa Clarita, and his Democratic challenger Christy Smith will face off, there were 74,893 registered Democrats, and 68,883 registered Republicans, with 5,675 for the Independent Party and 729 for the Green Party.

The 25th Congressional District went to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. That September, the district saw 121,651 registered Democrats, 107,782 Republicans, 9,075 American Independents and 924 Green Party voters in the L.A County region.

In September 2014, the totals were 119,961 registered Democrats, 108,517 Republicans and 9,694 American Independents.

“It reflects that the districts are changing, and I think it’s a good sign for the candidates that are running,” said Nathan Bousfield, treasurer of the Democratic Alliance for Action of Santa Clarita and president of the SCV Young Democrats. “Since the last election, more people that I’ve talked to have registered to vote for the first time after being apathetic, after they’ve realized they have to vote to make a difference. The registration numbers have been trending that way for a couple of years.”

The 38th Assembly District, which is the lion’s share of the Santa Clarita Valley, saw a similar registration pattern in September 2016.

The totals two years ago were: 72,846 registered Democrats, 71,788 Republicans, 5,244 for American Independent Party and 688 for Green Party in L.A. County.

But in September 2014, there were 67,902 registered Democrats, 71,900 Republicans and 5,573 Independent Party members in L.A. County in the 38th Assembly District.

Although there were more registered Democrats in that district in 2016, Acosta won his Assembly seat, which he attributed to his attention to bipartisan causes.

“All across our state more and more Californians are fed up with the partisanship of one-party rule in Sacramento, and the rancor coming from Washington D.C.,” Acosta said in an emailed statement. “Many Californians are rejecting party labels. I have worked to bring people together, which is why voters sent me to Sacramento to serve our community.”

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