Independent voter registrations are growing faster than both Republican and Democratic voters, the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office announced. In July, voters registered with “other” as their political party affiliation at more than double the rate of Democrats and Republicans.
“Political allegiances are in flux,” said Secretary of State Michael Adams, in the announcement. “Republicans recently took the lead in voter registration from Democrats, but there’s more to the story, as many voters now do not affiliate with either party. Any candidate for statewide office needs to not just hold the base, but also reach out to others.”
For the first time in the history of Kentucky, Republican voters outnumbered Democratic voters, according to data Adams released in July. Republican voters now tally 1,612,060, compared to 1,609,569 registered Democrats.
“After a century and a half, the birthplace of Lincoln has finally aligned with the party of Lincoln,” Adams said at the time. “Today is a grand day for all of us in the Grand Old Party who have worked so hard for so long to advance our goals of limited government and personal responsibility.”
Democrats historically had a strong arm on the legislature and the governor’s office. In the late 1990s, Republicans took hold of the Senate, and then in 2016, they took control of the House. The governor’s office has gone back and forth over the past 20 years, with Democratic governors holding that office for 12 of them.
Overall, Kentucky voter registration increased by 5,995 voters in July. Over that month, 3,796 voters were removed – 2,624 deceased voters, 798 voters convicted of felonies, 330 voters who moved out of state, 23 adjudged mentally incompetent, and 21 who voluntarily de-registered.
Republican registrants account for 45.2 percent of the electorate, with 1,615,178 voters. Republican registration increased by 3,118 voters, a 0.19 percent increase. Democratic registrants account for 45.0 percent of the electorate, with 1,606,843 voters. Democratic registration decreased by 2,726 voters, a 0.17 percent decrease. Kentuckians registered under other political affiliations account for 9.7 percent of the electorate, with 347,481 voters. Other registration increased by 1,807 voters, a 0.52 percent increase.