Voter registration for Nov. election ends; push to the polls begins

October 18, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Monday was the last day to register to vote for the upcoming election. The next challenge is getting voters to the polls.

Elections officials are doing everything they can to add to the nearly 17 million already on California's voter rolls.

They range from the newly eligible, like 18-year-old Jacob Micheletti.

"This is one of those freedoms that you can get," he said.

To the older first-time voter.

"I'll be 60 years old next year and it's on my bucket list," newly registered John Walshe said.

But no matter how many new voters sign up, it is getting people who have already registered to go to the polls next month.

While mid-term elections generally have a smaller turnout than presidential elections, Obama supporters, especially those who voted for the first time in 2008, are not motivated to vote this year.

"They expected big things, they expected big things quickly and when that didn't happen?people tend to get very discouraged," UC Davis political science professor Bob Huckfeldt said.

The newly registered, though, seem to be motivated.

Nadia Abdulghani was on her way home to Los Angeles when she stopped in Sacramento to update her information.

"Because this is a really important election and I want to make sure the Democrats can pull through," she said.

Ray Privatte wants to vote and used the last minute registration drive to switch parties from Libertarian to Republican.

"There's a lot going on right now, it's just the way things are going I have to put in a vote to change that," he said.

As of September, 72 percent of eligible California voters were registered.

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