Final Word: Independent voters, come on down!

Mar 18, 2014, 8:51 PM | Updated: 8:51 pm

It’s official: independent voters are now the biggest voting bloc in the state.

Secretary of State Ken Bennett made the announcement Monday, saying that the number of voters classifying themselves as “independent” crept past Republicans in recent weeks for the first time.

Nearly 35 percent of Arizonans officially DO NOT affiliate with a political party. he number of independents outpaced the number of Democrats a few years back.

Good news? I think so.

I think independents tend to ask more questions and educate themselves on issues more than someone who is committed to voting along either the Republican or Democratic party line.

But voting in the primary is tricky. As an “I”, you have to choose a Republican or Democratic ballot. So you either have to decide where your vote can do the most good or the most damage.

Even an informed “I” might think it’s not worth the time or effort or might be too divided on the candidates to make a choice.

Why should it be so hard to be an “I”?

It shouldn’t. But in Arizona, it turns out, it may not matter so much. Even though there are 1.3 million indies in Arizona, at the polls, you wouldn’t know it.

They hardly ever vote.

KTAR political analyst Mike O’ Neill said indies are the least-engaged voters. He also said they rarely vote in the primary where their vote can mean the most.

It’s why the open-primary idea makes total sense, and thus, will likely never become the law.

Independent voters should use their power to elect more moderate and inclusive candidates and as long as they don’t vote, the more partisan candidates will continue to be our only choice in the primary.

The number of independents growing so fast should ENCOURAGE them to grab the reins and vote, not roll over and take what we get.

If they do, they’ll get exactly what they deserve.

Karie Dozer

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Final Word: Independent voters, come on down!