SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – Nearly 18 million Californians are registered to vote in the upcoming presidential election, with Democrats widening their lead over Republicans in the Golden State.

As of July 7th, the California Secretary of State’s Office reported (.pdf) that 8.155 million registered voters are Democrats, or 45.1 percent. Meanwhile, 4.898 million registered voters are Republicans, or 27.09 percent.

The third largest group of voters in California are those not registered with a political party. The Secretary of State’s office said there are 4.212 million No Party Preference voters, or 23.29 percent of the total.

Among third parties, officials said 454,946 voters are registered American Independent, 78,604 voters are registered with the Green Party, 116,628 voters are registered Libertarians and 70,695 voters are registered with the Peace and Freedom party.

Since the Secretary of State’s report in January, both major parties saw an increase in voter registration. In the last few months, 131,130 people registered as Republicans, while 717,176 people registered as Democrats. About 70,000 people registered without a party preference.

While the GOP has gained voters in recent months, the total number of California voters registered Republican has dropped by more than half a million since 2003. Meanwhile, the number of registered Democrats has increased by 1.42 million and the number of No Party Preference voters has gone up by 1.72 million in the last 13 years.

Officials said 6,725,223 Californians who are eligible to vote are not registered for the election in November. The deadline to register is October 24th.

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