Howard County Blog

A Blog on what is going on in Howard County

Friday, May 19, 2006

Unaffiliated voters growing faster locally than Democrats or Republicans

The Howard County Times this week has an article from Earle Eldridge saying that the percentage of unaffiliated voters in the county keeps growing faster than that of those registering as either Democrats or Republicans.
My comment on that is that most of these unaffiliated registrants either don't know or don't care that they are, for the most part, cutting themselves out of a very important electoral process: deciding which Democrat or which Republican will win the primary and have their name go on the general election ballot (when one of the two will almost surely win and be elected to represent them). No candidate other than a Democrat or a Republican has achieved as much as fifteen percent of the statewide vote in Maryland within recent memory (at least forty years). Is there any reason to believe it will be any different now? I don't think so.
Potential voter registrants might also consider that just about the only purpose of registering as either a Democrat or a Republican is to allow you to vote in that party's primary. Secondarily, it allows you to file as a candidate representing that party. (But most people aren't going to do the latter.) It doesn't require you to vote that way in the general election.
Philosophically, I'm an independent and would also decline to affiliate with a party if I could do that and also have as much influence as other voters in the selection of primary election winners. But I'm not about to surrender whatever influence I may have in the total election process and so I'm registered as a member of a major party. And I'm just as "independent" as always.
Register as a "decline" or as a member of a minor party and stay as one if that's what you want to do. You have every right to do that. All the more power and influence for people like me.