A record number of San Diegans are declaring themselves 'No party preference

Posted at 6:13 PM, Nov 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-05 09:57:09-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV)— San Diegans have registered to vote in record numbers. Of those statistics, there is an all-time-high in the number of undeclared or “No-Party-Preference” voters. 

San Diego County Registrar of Voters, Michael Vu, said there are 1.77 million registered voters in the county, the highest it has ever been. That number surpasses the November 2016 election statistics, where there were 1.65 million registered San Diegans. Vu said there are mainly three reasons for the increase of 120,000 registered voters:

1. Californians are taking advantage of the easy online registration. 
2. There usually is a voter registration lull after a big election. But this time, there was no lull. Instead, registration numbers steadily grew after November 2016.
3. The DMV policy change: People now can automatically become registered to vote. Instead of "opting in" to register, the choice is to "opt out."

While San Diegans are pledging allegiance to the flag, they are not pledging allegiance to a party, however. According to Vu, the number of undeclared or "No-Party Preference" voter is at its peak.

“The total number of ‘no party preference’ voter is at 31% right now, and that exceeds that of the Republican party, and that is rivaling that of the Democratic party,” Vu said. 

This election, the county has 36% declared Democrats, 31% “No party preference,” and 28% Republican voters. During the last Presidential election, there were far more Republican voters than “No party preference” voters. Political analysts see this shift as a game changer.

“If you’re doing a direct mail piece or phone banks, you’re not calling just Republicans, you’re also calling ‘declined to state.’ Democrats are calling Democrats and ‘declined to state,’” political consultant, John Dadian said. “It affects the budget of the campaigns, it affects their strategy, it affects everything.”

So if you think your vote does not count, think again. With so many unknowns, Vu said it could be your vote that decides the outcome. 

"There is a big gap between that percentage difference, and that could be all the difference come election day, and when we certify the election, as to who wins and who doesn't win in this upcoming election,” Vu said. 

Early weekend voting has ended. However, early voting will continue Monday at various community libraries. If you missed the voter registration deadline, you can still vote by following these steps:

Go to the County Registrar’s office at 5600 Overland Avenue, San Diego, CA 92123.
1. Complete the  “Conditional Voter Registration.”
2. Receive a Provisional Ballot.
3. Submit your Provisional Ballot.

You can do steps 1-4, all in one day.