By BOBBIE McAULIFFE
Oklahoma State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax made the annual announcement of voter registration last week, reporting there are now 943,283 registered Democratic voters in the State of Oklahoma, 828, 257 Republicans and 229,070 Independents.
The good news for Republicans is their numbers continue to increase while registered Democrats continue to decline. Last year Democrats made up 47.9 percent of the registered voters in Oklahoma ; this year they make up 47.2 percent. Republicans make up 41.4 percent vs 40.6 percent last year and Independents fell from 11.5 percent to 11.4 percent.
Voter rolls are purged in odd numbered years of deceased voters, felons, people who have moved away and otherwise become inactive. 26,781 people were removed statewide in 2011.
The percentage of registered Democrats has steadily declined since 1960 when 82 percent of the registered voters in Oklahoma were Democrats, Republicans had only a 17.6 percent share and Independents were less than one percent.
In 2009 Democratic voter registration in Oklahoma fell below 50 percent for the first time and has continued to fall.
It seems that although registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans, many of those “Democrats” are voting the Republican ticket in general elections. The last Democratic Presidential candidate to carry Oklahoma was Lyndon Johnson in 1964. In 2008 Democrat Barak Obama only received 34.5 percent of the vote in Oklahoma.
In LeFlore County there were 18,604 registered Democrats in 2010 vs 4,959 Republicans and 2,430 Independents. Mary Fallin (R) received 7,040 votes for Governor while Jeri Askins (D) only received 5,950 votes.
In 2011 there were 19,042 registered Democrats vs. 18,156 this year; a loss of 896 voters. Republicans gained 74 voters from Jan. 15, 2011 when there were 5,331 to Jan. 15, 1012 when there were 5,405. Independents lost three voters; from 2,678 in 2011 to 2,675 this year.