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Nonpartisans continue to rise on county voter roll

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The latest statewide voter registration report was released late yesterday by Secretary of State Debra Bowen, and it shows that the trend toward voters declining to affiliate with either major party is continuing. More than one in five California voters is now registered as "decline to state" a party affiliation.

Ventura County lags behind most of the rest of the state, with 18.4 percent of its voters in that category. But here, too, the nonpartisans are catching up.

Since the comparable point before the last gubernatorial primary four years ago, Ventura County has added 38,410 voters. The largest bloc of them, 13,057, has registered as decline to state. Democrats in the county have picked up 10,040 voters in that time. And, remarkably, Republicans have lost 267.

The trend seems to be picking up steam. In the three-plus months since the state's most recent report, based on Jan. 5 registrations, both major parties in Ventura County have lost voters (Democrats are down 328, Republicans down 348). But while both major parties were losing voters, the number of nonpartisans increased 323.

Similar numbers from around the state are sure to bolster the arguments behind Proposition 14 on the June ballot, which would establish a primary election system in which all voters get to participate in the process of picking which candidates will be on the fall general election ballot. When 20 percent of voters are more or less excluded from that process (they can specifically request a Republican or Democratic ballot on Election Day, but few do), the traditional party primary system does seem more than a little out of date.

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13 Comments

It seems to me that the rise of the DTS coincide with the conservative resurgence we've seen in '09-'10 so far. Those conservatives are dissatisfied with moderate Republican leadership in other parts of the state. Ventura County lags behind other counties in DTS because conservatives are for the most part satisfied with the VC GOP.

Eric, there is no conservative resurgence. Ventura County has historically been a Red County and the fact that we turned Democratic Blue a couple of year ago is an embarrassment.

Decline to Staters are NOT dissatisfied with moderate Republican leadership. They're dissatisfied with the extremes in both parties and Republicans are losing voters because people are dying.

Decline to Staters are NOT dissatisfied with moderate Republican leadership. They're dissatisfied with the extremes in both parties and Republicans are losing voters because people are dying.

In reality, a large percentage of the Tea Party activists are DTS voters too. So, Katie's whole theory of the Red County/Blue County stuff is out the window. I think you'll find the growing ranks of DTS voters are more likely to vote for Republican candidates when the chips are down.

I agree, turning Dem Blue is an embarrassment. the only thing more embarrassing would be making that claim after admitting that you are supporting local democratic candidates in the upcoming election.

Dantona? Jordan?

YOU are an embarrassment, Katie.

Katie's worse than an embarrassment, she's a candidate for the Funny Farm -- LOL!!!!! ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!

A large percentage of the Tea Party are not DTS but Republicans. The DTS is the fastest growing voting block because these people are unhappy with the direction both parties are going in.

Because of the way the systerm is set up, candidates in both parties have to way right or way left in the primaries.

The open primary system will do much to stop this - and hopefully redistricting will also even things out a little bit.

And yes I am proudly endorsing Dems, Reps, and even a DTS in the upcoming primary election.

And I am proudly not endorsing Audra Strickland!

Yeah, and you are proudly out of your mind.

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Nonpartisans continue to rise on county voter roll - 95 percent accurate
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95 percent accurate
Over the last 25 presidential elections, Ventura County voters have backed the winner 24 times, or over 95 percent of the time. It is one of only a handful of counties in the nation that has been such a predictable bellwether.
about Timm Herdt
Timm Herdt
The Ventura County Star's Sacramento Bureau Chief Timm Herdt on state issues and politics from Sacramento to Ventura County. He can be contacted at therdt@vcstar.com
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