Voter registration spikes ahead of Arizona presidential preference election

Feb 26, 2016, 6:00 AM | Updated: 11:32 am

(AP Photo/David Goldman)...

(AP Photo/David Goldman)

(AP Photo/David Goldman)

PHOENIX — Voter registration numbers have been finalized ahead of Arizona’s presidential preference election.

Since Jan. 12, Democratic enrollment has increased by 30,623 voters, while state Republicans have grown by 22,085 voters. In total, 11,079 registered independent voters have either registered with another party or removed their affiliation.

Secretary of State Michele Reagan said the numbers have likely spiked as a result of state law, which would not allow the state’s estimated 1.2 million registered independent voters to vote in Arizona’s primary election.

“(Independent voters) go and they show up at the polls, they are not going to be able to vote,” she said. “Obviously, that would lead some folks to be angry and I certainly wouldn’t want to be a poll worker and have to deal with denying somebody a ballot.”

Despite the number of independent voters switching parties, Reagan said there was a large number of voters registering for the first time.

“Even with (independents) joining one of the parties so they were able to participate, you still have 41,000 new people registered to vote, even with 11,000 people crossing over,” she said.

Despite the fact that thousands of new Arizonans registered to vote, Reagan said she would like to see a higher total number of registered voters and a better turnout on Election Day.

Arizona’s presidential preference election will be held on March 22.

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Voter registration spikes ahead of Arizona presidential preference election