Election season has arrived. Deputy Town Clerk Hilary Hiser wrote an op-ed for Arizona Daily Star on the impact of independent voters in the elections.
"With the election season upon us, I keep reminding candidates not to forget about independent voters. I encourage local candidates to stress the importance of participation during the Aug. 28 primary election when they speak with the public. “Why?” is the most common response I receive. The short answer is that independents don’t historically vote during primary elections, despite being eligible to since 1998. But the implications for this lack of participation are perhaps even more significant.
"Registered independents make up roughly one-third of the nearly 524,300 registered voters in Pima County. National trends indicate the share of independent voter registration is the highest it has been in over 50 years. In 2016, the Pew Research Center reported that independent voters were the highest registered voting group in the nation. A 2016 Gallup poll indicated that independents outnumber major political party registrations two to one.
"Despite such a large voting bloc, independent voters tend to have lower overall participation in all types of elections."