More than 21 million Californians had registered to vote by early September, or nearly 85% of all registered voters. That is the highest percentage registered ahead of a general election in nearly 70 years.
"It’s tremendous growth,” said Tim Dupuis, Registrar for Alameda County. “You know, back in 2018 we were around 850,000 voters and right now we’re at close to 940,000 and growing. We have a lot of people registering to vote, which is fantastic."
The other 15% have through Monday to register online or get their form postmarked in the mail.
But in case anyone misses the cutoff, Dupuis says they should not give up on voting this November.
"We also have same day registration now, or conditional voter registration,” he explained. “So the deadline to register to vote is October 19th, but if somebody hasn’t registered to vote by October 19th and they still want to vote, they can come either into our main office or one of these accessible vote locations and they’ll be able to same day register and vote."
Their ballots will be counted after the county has verified that they are eligible to vote.
While voter registration numbers do not necessarily predict turnout, there is another sign that people are more engaged than usual in this election.
“I was concerned about this early on given the pandemic, I was worried we wouldn’t have enough volunteer election workers. So 1,700 a day is what we need, and right now we have 4,800 people who have volunteered for the four days. So we have a reserve of around 3,000 election workers. It’s amazing," said Dupuis.
Participation has been so high that the county is only recruiting bilingual poll workers.