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Green, Libertarian Parties See Gains In San Diego Voters

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The San Diego County Registrar of Voters has new voter numbers from after the Democratic and Republican national conventions. KPBS reporter Megan Burks says the two main parties barely saw an uptick. But the Green and Libertarian parties logged noticeable increases.

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The San Diego County Registrar of Voters has new voter numbers from just after the Democratic and Republican national conventions. The two main parties barely saw an uptick between the June primary and Aug. 10. But the Green and Libertarian parties logged noticeable increases.

The Green Party saw the biggest bump, registering nearly 14 percent more local voters than from before the primary. The Libertarian Party grew by about 5 percent.

Their voting ranks are still dwarfed by the hundreds of thousands of registered Democrats and Republicans. The Green Party has 6,163 voters in San Diego County. The Libertarians have 12,680.

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But independent elections analyst Vince Vasquez said the jumps are significant.

"That reflects the general dissatisfaction that you see in the electorate with the top two choices that we have with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton," Vasquez said. "There's still a lot of voters that want to cast a ballot this election cycle but really haven't gotten around your conventional choices. And I think that's reflected in this higher percentage of third party registration."

Vasquez said Democrats and Republicans saw lackluster gains in registration over the summer because so many had registered to vote before the primary election.

"Statewide, back in the primary election cycle we had about 2 million new registered voters," Vasquez said. "That was significantly motivated by this contested Democratic presidential contest — Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton — as well as very strong opinions about Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and John Kasich. So we're probably not going to see that high of a registration surge that we saw in the primary, but it's been a fairly quiet summer and I think that's certainly going to pick up as we get closer to the election in November."

There were 1,559,101 San Diego County residents registered to vote as of Aug. 10. That's about 72 percent of those eligible. Democrats and Republicans account for 577,354 and 495,075, respectively.

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