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Fewer potential voters in county than in '08
Republicans still outnumber Democrats
When Barack Obama successfully ran for president four years ago a youthful enthusiasm was in the air. That election saw 72 percent of the county’s 146,415 registered voters cast their ballots.
This election has a different feel to it, said Ann Turner, elections supervisor for Tulare County. And, this election will see fewer potential voters and more voters who decided not to state a party preference.
Despite the ability to register to vote online, the election department has reported 145,348 people have registered to vote in this election, and both the Democrats and Republicans have seen their numbers dwindle.
According to the elections department, Republicans still outnumber Democrats, but gaining on both are those who have not stated a party preference.
The county will have 25,599 true independent voters on Tuesday. That number grew by 3,072 since the 2008 presidential election and has grown by more than 10,000 since the 2000 presidential election.
Republicans continue to lead Democrats in registration. The county reports there are 63,809 registered Republicans for Tuesday’s election and 49,151 Democrats. The Republicans lost 2,976 voters and the Democrats lost 2,704 since 2008.
Republicans have not always outnumbered Democrats. It was not until 1996 that
Republicans overcame the Democrats by a slim margin.
That margin grew over the years to a peak of nearly a 20,000 difference by the special election in 2005. The gap has narrowed some, but Republicans will hold a 16,383 edge on Tuesday.
Evelyn Stewart and Annabelle Goebel at the Republican headquarters on Main Street in Porterville said the party did not so much make a push for registering voters, but said a lot of people have registered at the office.
“We did register voters at the Apple Festival,” said Stewart, who added they got 80 people to sign up, not all Republicans. “It was not a Republican push. We had a nonpartisan table,” she said.
Goebel did add they had a lot of people coming in to switch their party affiliation.
Virginia Duysen, another volunteer in the office, said it seemed a lot of people have recently registered. “There seemed to be a more urgent need to get registered this election,” she said.
Turner was not surprised by the number of those not picking a party.
“It’s definitely growing,” noted Turner of those declining to state a party. Goebel had a theory as to why.
“Those are mostly people who don’t have a platform. They get mad and switch,” she said.
Turner speculated that is a big reason the number of American Independent registered voters continues to increase as well. “People think they are registering as an independent,” she said.
Numbers for Tuesday for other parties are: American Independent, 4,858; Americans Elect Party, 12; Green Party, 475; Libertarian, 718; Peace and Freedom, 464, Miscellaneous, 262.
- The Elections office, 5951 South Mooney Blvd. in Visalia, will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today for any voter who would like to come in and vote early.
- Voters are advised to no longer mail their ballots. Ballots must be received by Tuesday and officials recommend at this point to take your ballot to a polling place on Tuesday rather than mail it.