Unaffiliated voter rolls jump in Columbus

By DEUCE NIVEN

    Neither Republican, Democrat, nor member of any organized political party, the numbers of voters registered as unaffiliated in Columbus County is growing, rapidly this year, county Elections Supervisor Carla Strickland says.
    That’s important, Strickland told Columbus County Commissioners Monday, because only political parties can name precinct officers, though unaffiliated voters may serve as polling place workers. Fewer partisan voters means a smaller pool of potential precinct officials, Strickland said.
    Why the change?
    “We believe this is because during the primary an unaffiliated voter has a choice, they can choose the party they vote for,” Strickland said. “Many of our voters are starting to realize this and would like to have that choice.”

By the numbers
    Democrats saw a steady decline in voter registration numbers, by percentage of total voters, from 2006 to 2012, then a big drop in the past two years with unaffiliated numbers taking those gains, Columbus County election data shows.
    “It had been gradual, up until this year,” Strickland said.
    For more on this story see today’s Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.

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