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Online voter registration taking off
October 15, 2012, 05:00 AM Daily Journal Staff Report
As online voter registration soars statewide, local elections officials say about 9,500 San Mateo County residents have signed up using the new system to participate in next month’s election.

As of Thursday afternoon, 9,501 people had registered on line, said Meaghan Hassel Shearer, candidate filing officer with the San Mateo County Elections Office.

Those registrations are part of the approximately 380,000 Californians who used the new online system during its first three weeks of operation. Participants with a signature already on file with the Department of Motor Vehicles can sign up via the Internet or a mobile device. Local elections offices verify the forms before being added to the voter rolls.

Breakdowns of the local online registrants were not immediately available from the Elections Office but statewide the early numbers show an uptick in numbers from younger residents and Californians who are overseas, according to the office of state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, who authored the law that allowed for online registration.

Political Data Inc., the state’s largest provider of voter information, released data showing that of the 31 counties reporting, 28 percent of those registering online are under age 26 compared to 12 percent overall and those overseas and out-of-state account for 2 percent of online registrations.

"I am thrilled to see so many Californians, especially young people, using this new system to register to vote,” Yee said in a prepared statement.

Aside from online registration, the election has been pretty quiet, said David Tom, deputy assessor-county clerk-recorder.

The Elections Office is receiving fewer calls than in presidential elections past, he said.

Sample ballots are currently being mailed and voter registration for the Nov. 6 election ends Oct. 22.

Online registration is available at Mail-in forms are available at public libraries, city and county offices, California Department of Motor Vehicles offices, U.S. Post Offices, online for download or by calling 312-5222 to have one mailed within one business day.

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