Secretary of State releases latest voter registration tallies

A woman casts her ballot in a voting voting booth at the Castaic Regional Sports Complex in Castaic on Tuesday, May 12, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal
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Ahead of the Nov. 3 election, the gap between Democratic and Republican voters in the 25th Congressional District has steadily increased over the past four years, newly released voter registration figures showed. 

Secretary of State Alex Padilla shared the latest statewide report of registration Thursday, showing 21.24 million Californians were registered to vote as of Sept. 4, an increase of 2.98  million individuals since the last presidential election cycle on Sept. 9, 2016.

The statewide total includes a sum of 427,205 voters in the 25th Congressional District, which represents the Antelope, Santa Clarita and Simi valleys. 

“This month, California reached a historic registration milestone with over 21.2 million registered voters, an increase of nearly 3 million voters compared to a similar point in the last presidential election,” said Padilla in a statement. “Despite this huge increase, there’s still more work to be done. For those who have registered, the next step is making a plan to vote. Voting begins in California on Oct. 5, and this year, we urge more Californians to vote early.”

The 25th Congressional District, currently represented by Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, had 168,344 registered Democrats, or 39.41%, which increased from the 157,797 registered since Jan. 3 — the 60-day report ahead of the March 3 primary election. Republicans had 136,138 total registered (31.87%) as of Sept. 4, or 4,738 more since Jan. 3. 

Democrats’ lead of 7.5 percentage points from Sept. 4 increased just over 1 percentage point (6.3) from January, two months before voters had to cast their first ballots for a candidate to fill the remainder of former Democratic Rep. Katie Hill’s term, after she stepped down in fall 2019. 

Garcia and his opponent, Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, qualified for the Nov. 3 general election runoff for a full two-year term. Smith led in the March general election primary but she lost when Garcia earned more than 50% of the vote in May for the special election to fill the remainder of Hill’s term. 

Since September 2016, the district’s gap between Democrats and Republicans has gradually widened, as Democrats led with 1.56 percentage points four years ago and 3.92 percentage points in September 2018 — the year Hill ran against former Rep. Steve Knight. 

Those stating no party preference for the 25th District also increased from 2016 with 77,714 registered voters to Jan. 3 with 100,148, but declined to 95,496 as of Sept. 4. The latest figures under American Independent showed a total of 14,334 voters, which has also seen an increase from 10,687 in 2016 to 13,716 in January. 

On a more local level, Santa Clarita had a total of 140,607 registered voters as of Sept. 4, of which 52,545 were Democrat, 47,607 were Republican, 31,587 identified as having no party preference and 4,649 were American Independent. 

Garcia and Smith face off once again in November for a full, two-year House term. 

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