Independents are gaining ground in Arizona, now outnumber Dems, hot on the trail of Repubs. The parties continue to attack voter-approved open primaries. And a lawsuit is brought by an independent in Oklahoma challenging the exclusion of independents from new redistricting commission.
AZ Independents outnumber Democrats (KYMA TV Yuma - NBC 11) The latest state registration report puts the number of Independents at 1,010,725 as of January 1. That’s about 2,000 more than the total number of Democrats registered statewide.
Independents now outnumber Dems in Arizona (by Ginger Rough, The Arizona Republic) It also marks the first time the number of independent voters is greater than those registered in one of the state's two major political parties - in this case, the Democrats.
Independents inch past Democrats in statewide registration (Rhonda Bodfield, Arizona Daily Star/Pueblo Politics) Independents grew the fastest since the general election, with more than 28,000 registering since November. Democrats added 5,800. Republicans garnered about twice that, at 10,800…. "There's mixed reviews about whether open primaries actually have higher turnout than closed primaries," she said, "but what is clear is that in terms of the way people register, the primary really does influence the numbers."
Voter Registration Numbers: Independents Overtake Democrats in AZ (POSTED BY JIM NINTZEL, Tucson Weekly) “This is an interesting political shift we’re seeing,” Secretary Bennett mentioned. “Over the last three years, this category of voters has gained about 255,000 registered voters. We’ve been watching this trend for quite some time now, and it’s fascinating to watch where it is headed.”
Parties keep slogging against peoples' wishes (TriCity Herald WA) Washingtonians did not, and most still do not, like to be told they have to join a party to vote. We prefer to vote for the best candidate, even in the primary. And we can under the top-two primary system. Best of all, the top-two system doesn't violate the constitutional rights of the political parties. That's what the nation's top jurists have repeatedly found. Even so, the parties continue to argue that primaries are for the parties, not the people, and apparently not for the candidates either.
Independent Voter Challenges Oklahoma State Question (Oklahoma's Own News on One) The state question increased its members from three to seven and requires the governor, speaker of the House and president pro tem of the Senate to each appoint one Democrat and one Republican to the commission. Duffe's lawsuit says that discriminates against independent voters and makes the state question unconstitutional.
Lawsuit challenges Oklahoma’s redistricting revision plan OK’d by voters in SQ 748 (BY MICHAEL MCNUTT, The Oklahoman) Independent voters are left out of a bipartisan commission that would be formed according to State Question 748, which 58.5 percent of the voters approved in November. The commission would be formed if lawmakers and the governor can’t agree on new lines for the 101 House and 48 Senate districts by the end of this year’s session.
Huntsman: A star is born (By Brent Budowsky, The Hill) Cable pundits thrive on incendiary attacks, but smart Democrats hope, and smart Republicans fear, that a divisive GOP nominee could lose in a landslide in 2012. Jon Huntsman offers great appeal to independent voters who wield great power in national elections.
Worthy gains could vanish amid reforms (Gary IN Post Tribune) While some measure of accountability should rest with teachers who are on the front lines of education, there hasn't been a whisper about another education gap. Indiana falls behind most states with a school start age of 7 and is one of eight states that don't finance early learning programs.