More voters staying out of parties

By Jessica Cejnar / The Del Norte Triplicate

No-preference grows in DN, GOP outnumbers Dems

As Del Norte gears up for the June 3 election, more residents are declining to state a party preference when they register to vote.

More than 2,500 local residents have chosen "no party preference" on their voter's registration form as of Thursday, said Elections Officer Alissia Northrup. That number is up from 567 no-party preference voters who participated in the June 2012 primary, she said.

Out of 12,158 registered voters in Del Norte, 4,477 are Republicans and 4,164 are Democrats, Northrup said. Apart from no party preference, the other category to claim the most voters is the American Independent Party, with 566, she said.

Northrup said she thinks the top-two primary system encouraged more voters to register without stating a party preference.

"They don't have to worry about not getting to vote on party issues," she said. "Of all of (the preferences) that's one that's been on the rise."

With the passage of Proposition 14 in 2010, California adopted the top-two primary system in which candidates from all parties are listed on one ballot. The law also allowed voters to register online.

Statewide, the number of voters with no-party preference has increased slightly, to 21 percent, according to the Secretary of State's Office.

Meanwhile, the percentages of voters registered as Democrats and Republicans has decreased. Nearly 44 percent of the state's 17.6 million voters registered as Democrats, according to the Secretary of State. That's down 1 percentage point from 2010. Republicans make up about 29 percent of registered voters, down 2 percent.

Overall registration is up from 16.9 million voters four years ago.

May 19 is the deadline to register to vote in the June 3 election.

Reach Jessica Cejnar at jcejnar@triplicate.com .

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