Registrations of independent voters are growing faster than Republican and Democratic voters, the office of the Kentucky secretary of state announced. In July, voters registered with “other” as a political party affiliation at more than double the rate of Democrats and Republicans.
“Political allegiances are in flux,” Secretary of State Michael Adams said in the announcement. “Republicans recently took the lead from Democrats in voter registration, but there’s more to the story, as many voters are now unaffiliated with either party. Any candidate for statewide office must not only hold the base, but also reach out to others.
For the first time in Kentucky’s history, Republican voters outnumbered Democratic voters, according to data released by Adams in July. Republican voters now number 1,612,060, compared to 1,609,569 registered Democrats.
“After a century and a half, Lincoln’s birthplace has finally aligned with Lincoln’s party,” Adams said at the time. “Today is a great day for all of us in the Grand Old Party who have worked so hard for so long to advance our goals of limited government and personal accountability.”
Democrats historically had a strong arm in the legislature and the governor’s office. In the late 1990s Republicans took over the Senate, then in 2016 they took control of the House. The governor’s office has moved back and forth over the past 20 years, with Democratic governors holding the office for 12 of them.
Overall, voter registration in Kentucky increased by 5,995 voters in July. During that month, 3,796 voters were expelled — 2,624 voters who died, 798 voters convicted of crimes, 330 voters who left the state, 23 deemed mentally incompetent and 21 who voluntarily opted out.
Registered Republicans represent 45.2% of the electorate, with 1,615,178 voters. Republican registration rose by 3,118 voters, an increase of 0.19%. Registered Democrats represent 45.0% of the electorate, with 1,606,843 voters. Democratic registration fell by 2,726 voters, a drop of 0.17%. Kentuckians registered under other political affiliations make up 9.7% of the electorate, with 347,481 voters. Other registrations increased by 1,807 voters, an increase of 0.52%.
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