NORMAN — Voter registration patterns in Oklahoma are closely watched by political junkies. Registrants began opting for the Republican Party several decades ago. Democrats still have a majority registration, but it’s the number of independents that is surprising to party officials.
The Tulsa World reports that Oklahoma has 887,724 registered Democrats compared to 850,854 registered Republicans. Ten years ago, Democrats had 341,183 voters registered.
Since January 2000, Independents have increased their registration statewide by 33.8 percent, The World reports. It may be out of frustration with gridlock from both major parties.
Some sign up without a party thinking they can choose from either lineup. Until the General Election, that’s not the case. Oklahoma’s closed party system precludes Independents from voting in party primaries. Some voters don’t understand that until Election Day.