San Diego County Voter Engagement Profile
“California’s electorate does not reflect the size, the growth, or the diversity of California’s population. Today, 8 in 10 adults are eligible to vote but just 56% are registered, less than half (43%) belong to one of the major parties, and only 35% of adults can expect to vote in the November election. Voter registration has grown at a slower rate than the population. As a result, 12 million of the state’s 27.7 million adults are not registered to vote. Although the state has become increasingly diverse, the adults who frequently vote are predominately white, age 45 and older, and relatively affluent. In contrast, non-voters (those who are not registered to vote) are mostly nonwhite, younger and less affluent than frequent (or “likely”) voters.”
San Diego County Has a Serious Voter Registration Problem
- There are well over 200,000 unregistered, eligible voters in San Diego County
- 23% of eligible voters in San Diego County ARE NOT REGISTERED.
Communities of Color are Particularly Affected in San Diego County
- San Diego County’s population of people or color is increasing significantly. In 2000, San Diego County had 45% people of color. In 2004, the county’s population was 48% people of color.
- The multi-ethnic 79th Assembly District, which includes portions of the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista, National City, Imperial Beach and Coronado, has the least number of registered voters of San Diego’s eight Assembly Districts. The ethnic composition of the 79th AD is 57% Latino, 24% White/non-Hispanic, 9% Asian-Pacific Islander, 8% African-American and 1% American Indian.
- San Diego’s Eighth Council District is more than 70% Latino. While 117,000 of the 166,600 of the Council District residents are Latino, the electorate cast less than 12,000 votes in the June 2006 Primary Election (SANDAG).
Voter Registration Efforts Targeting Communities of Color Are Essential to Increasing Voter Participation in San Diego County
- The Mi Voto Cuenta!/Maibibilang Ang Boto Ko!/My Vote Counts! Initiative will focus registration efforts on San Diego County’s 79th Assembly District and on San Diego City’s Eighth Council District.
- Door-to-door canvassing, by community members, the primary tactic of the Mi Voto Cuenta! Initiative, has been proven to be the most effective way of engaging new voters.