DeLand, FL – Nearly half of the newly registered voters in Volusia County have decided they don’t belong with the Democrats or Republicans.
Over 44% of the 4,650 who signed up to vote in time for the August 28th primary elections labeled themselves as either “No Party Affiliation” or registered with third parties, according to data from the Volusia County Supervisor of Elections.
Between June 1st and last Friday (August 3rd), 2,050 of the newly registered were NPA/minor parties, with 1,420 Democrats and 1,180 Republicans making up the remainder.
In the primaries, anyone not affiliated with a political party can vote in non-partisan races but cannot vote to decide who will represent Democrats, Republicans or any other political parties in the November general election. Only people registered with those parties can do that.
Volusia Supervisor of Elections Lisa Lewis thinks many of the NPA’s are people who automatically signed up through the state Department of Motor Vehicles or other forms of automatic voter registration.
“If they’re updating their driver’s license or getting a new one, [they’re] not necessarily choosing a party,” Lewis added.
Even though they were bottom of the pack in terms of numbers newly registered, the GOP still holds a slight lead in overall voters in Volusia, with 137,431 as of today (August 6th). That adds up to just under 35% of total registered voters in the county.
Democrats are close behind at just over 34% of registered voters in Volusia (135,245), a difference of 2,186 compared to Republicans.
NPA (117,466) makes up just under 30% of Volusia’s registered voters, with other parties (2,828) making up the remainder for an overall total of 392,970.
With voter registration for the primaries ending state-wide on July 30th, Lewis’ office is now focusing on processing vote-by-mail ballots for this month’s election and preparing for early voting in that election later this month.
So far in Volusia, over 78,000 ballots have been mailed out, with over 10% making their way back to the supervisor of elections office within the first three days. Around 300 or so came back without a signature on the envelope, meaning they won’t count until the voter signs it. Lewis says they’re contacting those voters right now and will continue to do that until all have been signed.
Voted ballots must be signed and returned to your local elections office by 7 p.m. on election night.
If you want to vote by mail instead of through early voting or on Elections Day, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit volusiaelections.org to check voter registration status, find sample ballots or look up your polling place.
27% of Volusia voters cast ballots in the 2016 primary election, but Lewis expects that total to be much higher in 2018. She’s thinking somewhere in the 55 to 60% range.