Gila County Behind In Attracting New Voters

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While the state gained tens of thousands of new voters for the Nov. 2 general election, Gila County experienced only a minor 2 percent gain in active voters from last year, which is still lower than voter registration numbers in 2008.

According to the secretary of state’s office, Gila County has 30,159 active, registered voters in its 39 precincts. Nearly 40 percent of the county is registered as Democrat with 37 percent Republican.

For the past three years, Democrats have held a small lead over the number of Republicans. Each year, however, that lead is decreasing.

In 2009, Democrats lost 1,647 voters and in 2010, 47. Republicans lost 387 voters in 2009 and gained 267 in 2010.

Statewide, the Republican Party added more than 12,000 voters between the end of July and the latest report, giving the state 1,131,802 active, registered Republican members. The state Democratic Party grew by nearly 1,700 members statewide, with 1,002,937 active, registered voters.

Independent voters, or those not affiliated with a political party, showed the largest registration increase county and statewide.

Gila County gained 325 unaffiliated voters, while statewide there was a 29,000 increase.

What impact these numbers have on the general election is unknown, but for the last three years, more and more voters are choosing to register as Independents.

Read more about Tuesday’s election results on the Roundup’s Web site starting after 8 p.m.

Gila County, in conjunction with the Arizona secretary of state, will be using an online tool called Election Night Reporting (ENR) to display election results live as they are available.

This Web site interface will provide candidates, the media, and other members of the public with detailed, graphical views of state and county election results.

The ENR system can be accessed from the Gila County Web site www.gilacountyaz.gov or from the secretary of state Web site at www.azsos.gov.

The Gila County Division of Elections will begin posting election results at 8 p.m., one hour after precinct polling locations have closed. Updates will occur throughout the night until all precincts have reported.

The secretary of state’s office projects statewide voter turnout will be 60 to 65 percent. Turnout for Arizona’s primary was the strongest in two decades.

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