Secretary of State Ken Bennett (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
Independents have become the largest voter bloc in the state after years of growth, surpassing Republicans for the first time.
Of the state's 3.2 million voters, the number of voters registered without a party preference or with independent parties is 1,134,243, an increase of 10,245 since the last report in January, Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett said Monday.
The number of voters registered as Republicans hit 1,130,170 while 960,701 are Democrats, a decrease of 1,093 and 2,127 respectively.
Libertarians make up a little less than 1 percent of the state's total registration with 26,595 and the Americans Elect Party has enrolled 332 voters since joining the state's other recognized political parties in 2011.
"Today's announcement will come as no surprise to most people around the state," Bennett said.
Over the past few years, trends had clearly indicated the number of independent voters would eventually surpass those of Arizona's political parties.
Bennett noted the rise of the independent voters in Arizona mirrors national trends of voter registration.
"With more than 40 percent of Americans identifying themselves as independents, our state's nonaffiliated voters are seemingly less concerned with partisan rhetoric rather than results," Bennett said.
Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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