Greater percentage of Polk voters ‘unaffiliated’

Published 4:52 pm Thursday, October 16, 2008

The deadline to register to vote on election day, Nov. 4, was Friday. Those who have not registered still have another chance if they register and vote during the state&squo;s early, one-stop voting period, which begins Oct. 16.

Unaffiliated voters now represent 29 percent of the total number of registered voters in Polk County, up from 24 percent in 2004 and 20 percent in 2000. &bsp;

Meanwhile, the percentage of Republicans is 37 percent, down from 39 percent in both 2004 and 2000. The percentage of Democrats is 34 percent, down from 36 percent in 2004 and 40 percent in 2000.

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The number of Unaffiliated voters in Polk County is up by more than 500 since the last presidential election, and up by more than 372 from just the beginning of this year. Democrats have gained about 183 voters this year in Polk County, while Republicans have gained just 34.

State elections officials have reported similar trends with large increases in the number of Unaffiliated and Democrats, but only small increases for Republicans.

Overall, the Polk elections office shows a decline in the total number of registered voters from 15,961 in 2004 to 14,978 in 2008. The county has seen reductions in the number of registered voters following purges of voters rolls to eliminate those who have deceased or moved out of the county.