September 23, 2003


A rush to the registrar: GOP numbers surge as deadline to register passes. (JOHN GITTELSOHN and RONALD CAMPBELL, September 23, 2003, The Orange County Register)

"From what I've been told, this is the biggest last-minute numbers ever," interim Registrar of Voters Steve Rodermund said. "It wasn't bad until today. We got inundated."

Stuart Cohen, a native of South Africa who became a citizen Sept. 17, said he registered as a Republican so he could vote for Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"It's actually funny and ironic that my first vote as an American citizen is for the 'Terminator,'" said Cohen, 51, a U.S. resident for 17 years. The last-minute influx reflects enthusiasm for the recall election and dissatisfaction with Gov. Gray Davis - at least in Orange County. Since July 1, Republicans accounted for 47 percent of the county's 74,000 newly registered or re-registered voters. More new independents registered than Democrats, who added fewer than 18,000 voters.

John Burkett delivered about 1,500 new applications to the registrar shortly before the 5 p.m. closing time, having dropped off applications to registrars in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. He headed to Los Angeles County, where the registrar stayed open until midnight. About 80 percent of his applications were Republicans, Burkett said.

"I've seen people in their 40s, 50s and 60s who are registering for the first time in their lives," said Burkett, who makes a living registering voters and gathering petition signatures.

Let's go out on a limb and assume that most people registering for the first time haven't caught Bustamante Fever.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 23, 2003 10:37 PM

As these people would be missed even by competent polling, this might signal a real change in the race.

Posted by: David Cohen at September 24, 2003 7:36 AM

That is neat.

A South African immigrant to the US casts his first US vote for an Austrian immigrant to the US. The candidate of the vote: the person to direct the world's fifth largest economy?

Is this a great country, or what?

Posted by: John J. Coupal at September 24, 2003 9:55 AM

The Bustamate "voters" have probably already
been "pre-registred" by the Dem's (several times).

Posted by: J.H. at September 24, 2003 10:05 AM

Will 'Bustamante fever' prove to be fatal? Perhaps only to Grave Davis (oops).

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 24, 2003 1:12 PM

If you have John Burketts e-mail could i have it please? I want to help gather signatures for him.

Posted by: corey at May 16, 2004 5:36 PM