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Voter Registration Stats Show More Republicans, Independents; Democrats Declining

Brian Hardzinski

Registered independents continue to be the fastest growing group of Oklahoma voters.

The State Election Board released figures Friday showing the number of registered Republicans and independents increased over the past two years, while the number of Democrats fell by about 6 percent.

“What we’ve seen over the past two years is that in terms of the net increase of voters, independents actually have the most, at a little over 28,000,” said state Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax.

Republican registration jumped about 3 percent from 2014 to 2016, while the number of independents increased by more than 11 percent during the same time.

“There are also a handful of voters that are registered as Americans Elect, which is not a political party but a political organization,” Ziriax said.

Of the nearly 2 million registered voters in Oklahoma , there were about 832,000 Democrats, 880,000 Republicans, and 266,000 independents.

The state election board is required to publish statewide statistics every January 15, and they've done it every year since 1960.

Ziriax said 56 years ago independents made up less than one half of 1 percent of registered voters. They're now at 13 percent.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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Brian Hardzinski is from Flower Mound, Texas and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He began his career at KGOU as a student intern, joining KGOU full time in 2009 as Operations and Public Service Announcement Director. He began regularly hosting Morning Edition in 2014, and became the station's first Digital News Editor in 2015-16. Brian’s work at KGOU has been honored by Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI), the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters, and local and regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists. Brian enjoys competing in triathlons, distance running, playing tennis, and entertaining his rambunctious Boston Terrier, Bucky.
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