Alex Padilla, California’s secretary of state, says almost three-quarters of the Golden State’s eligible voters are registered. (via Flickr)

This election season has been rife with complaints regarding voter registration, and many Americans are starting to question the notion of closed primaries. In some states, there have been allegations of election fraud.

But in California, just days before voters are set to head to the polls, there is some good news. The Hill reports:

A report released on Friday shows that there are 17,915,053 voters registered as of the state’s May 23 deadline, the most the state has ever seen going into a primary.

“Nearly 18 million California citizens are registered to vote in the June 7 Presidential Primary,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said in a statement.

“In the 45 days leading up to the voter registration deadline, there was a huge surge in voter registration — total statewide voter registration increased by nearly 650,000. Part of this surge was fueled through social media, as Facebook sent a reminder to all California users to register to vote.”

According to the report, about 72 percent of eligible Californians are registered to vote.

Suzanne Gamboa of NBC News adds that there has also been a voter registration surge among the Latino population, noting that “California has the largest Latino population of any state, and nearly half of that population is eligible to vote.” She writes:

[T]here is hope for better this year, particularly in the general election.

“When there’s a contest and a flurry of activity — and we are seeing a flurry — seeing this kind of activity and what looks like a race, people are going to be more active and engaged,” said Roger Salazar, a Democratic consultant with ALZA Strategies in California.

Salazar thinks more Latinos will turn out when they are “ticked” off at somebody and this year there is Trump. Also, more than a third, 36 percent, of California eligible Latino voters are millennials — ages 18 to 29, higher than the share of all California eligible voters who are millennials, 24 percent, and younger Latino millennials have been excited about Sanders. Finally there is a competitive Senate race and the consistent Latino voters who turn out in every election.

“Put that all together and there is going to be substantial Latino voter turnout,” Salazar said. “There are signs people are paying attention.”

The state has the potential to essentially end the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who is locked in an extremely close race with competitor Hillary Clinton.

While many media outlets are reporting that Sanders could win California, they note that Clinton is only 73 delegates from clinching the nomination. Still, the state potentially has 475 delegates up for grabs.

Sanders supporters recently filed a lawsuit claiming that the voting process was confusing for those registered as unaffiliated. They urged a judge to re-open the registration process and implement volunteers in the state to inform unaffiliated voters of their right to participate in the primary process. A judge denied their request earlier this week, however.

MSNBC writes that Sanders’ magical number is 256—that is, “if he wants to block Clinton, he’ll have to keep her from accumulating another 256 pledged delegates between now and Tuesday, which would require him to win about two out of every three delegates still outstanding.”

California is one of the last states to hold a primary election, and rarely has its primary held such potential. In the most recent polls, Sanders was ahead by a single percentage point.

—Posted by Emma Niles

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