A University of California, Davis, study finds that Latinos and Asians make up half of California's population—in 2010, 38 percent of the state’s population was Latino and 13 percent was Asian—but a smaller proportion register to vote than the general population. The voter registration gap means that these ethnic groups have proportionately less say in the electoral process compared to the average citizen.
Yet between 2002 and 2010, voter registration for Latinos increased 40 percent raising their proportion of the general registered electorate to 21.2 percent, while Asian registration increased by 39.4 percent to 8 percent of the registered electorate. Overall voting registration level recorded in the 2010 election was 77.5 percent up by only 14 percent from 2002 to 2010. An additional 520,000 Latinos and 800,000 Asians would need to register to vote to raise the registration rates of these groups to the overall registration level.
The study breaks down registration by county:
- the gap in the Latino percentage of general registered voters and their proportion of the general population is highest in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties
- the Asian population has the largest gap in the Bay Area counties of San Francisco, San Mateo and Alameda, and Sacramento County.