Political Numbers

 

About 2,900 Frederick County residents in the past year have declared a new party affiliation, with about 40 percent of them shunning both Republican and Democratic labels.

From June 1, 2013, to May 31, 1,181 county residents changed their voter registrations to become unaffiliated or to join the Green or Libertarian parties, according to county elections officials. Though Republican and Democratic ranks have grown since the last gubernatorial primary in 2010, the fastest-expanding group of Frederick County voters have eschewed the two main political designations. Statewide trends mirror the local pattern, as voters tire of the partisan bickering they associate with the dual-party system, a political expert said.

"Negative campaigning and polarized politics are almost a systemic turnoff for many voters. Politicians behaving badly," said Herbert Smith, political science professor at McDaniel College.

Will Talley, of Frederick, said he recently decided to become an independent because he is disappointed in Democratic and Republican politicians.

"I looked at the national, state county/city government and just felt that no matter what party is in office, the citizens are the ones somehow left out. So I don't want to be affiliated with a party," Talley said in a Facebook post.

Gridlock in the nation's capital has become one source of frustration for Talley, who was previously registered as a Democrat. Last year's government shutdown affected both of his parents, who have jobs at Fort Detrick and with the federal government, Talley said in a phone interview.

But fatigue with the two-party system was not the only reason the county's voters decided to pick a new affiliation. Since June 2013, 661 county residents have switched to the Democratic Party, while 1,028 voters shifted to the GOP, the Frederick County Board of Elections reported. The overall number of party switches was more than double the total for the same period four years earlier, in the months before the 2010 gubernatorial elections.

Stuart Harvey, Frederick County's election director, said one possible factor for the increase is that voters can now change their party affiliations online.

In addition, there has been a push for Democrats and independents to register as Republicans for the sole purpose of opposing Blaine Young in the primary.

Smith said the effectiveness of the effort will hinge on election turnout; the closer the primary race, the greater the chance that the party switches will influence the outcome.

Young's opponents, such as those who launched the Facebook page Defeat Blaine Young in the Primary, have been encouraging Republicans to vote for David Gray or Mark Sweadner on June 24. Gray believes he could win support from 90 percent of the roughly 1,000 people who switched to the Republican Party over the past year. These numbers potentially could tip the scales in his favor, Gray said.

He noted that only about 19,480 Republicans participated in the 2010 primary elections, and many of the local candidates were separated by a couple of thousand votes.

Dickerson resident Douglas Pierce said he changed from unaffiliated to Republican to cast a vote for Gray in the primary.

"It's kind of like a protest vote more than anything," said Pierce, who said he has disagreed with Young's actions while commissioner to cut certain services and return $100 rebate checks to taxpayers.

Overall, Pierce said he supports Democratic candidate Jan Gardner for Frederick County executive.

Young said a majority of the party-switchers will probably be voting for his opponents, but he has learned of some people who changed their affiliation to support him. However, he takes issue with efforts to use party changes to knock him out before the general election.

"I think it's reprehensible for them to try to hijack the Republican primary," Young said.

Follow Bethany Rodgers on Twitter: @BethRodgersFNP.

To clarify: The information chart should have stated that the May totals for voter registration included 16- and 17-year-olds who will not be eligible to vote in this year's election. Not including the 16- and 17-year-olds, Frederick County has 149,393 registered voters. Of those, 54,121 are Democrats, 60,670 are Republicans and 33,286 are unaffiliated.

(68) comments

fishbait96

I switched to Dem to vote against Dems twice! More and more republicans in the state are switching to dem to vote out the gun banning loons

pixie-dust

How do you vote against Dems in the Democratic primary?

elliebest

With the apparent corruption going on in the major parties these days and neither of them stepping forward to uphold our liberty as Americans! I feel it may be the right time for our nation to do away with parties and vote for the person and what he stands for. I can see why many have gone to voting libertarian or green party. I feel this is our right as citizens but should not be used underhandedly as some plan to do. Come on where is Your pride , why do we want our children to grow up thinking this is OK! Just go out and vote .


DebtFree

I'm registering confederate.

ALincoln

Studies have shown that those who switch to the Independent catagory still mostly vote for the political party that had been voting before changing. A Republican switching to Independent still votes majority Republican. Same for Democrats.

Starbuck

"Unaffiliated" :)

A couple of us are trying to clear up the confusion between "Independent" and "unaffiliated".

That aside, I believe you are correct. I switched from (R) to unaffiliated many years ago, but I will admit, I've tended to vote (R), at least for most Federal races. State and Local, I tend to be all over the map.

tjmaher

After 40 years belonging to one particular party, I changed my party affiliation. The decision to change party was made last June 25 at the BOCC/Montevue hearing. I was appalled to see how the residents of Frederick County were treated with such totally disrespect. Watching the BOCCs behavior over the past year has made me realize it was time for a change and no more good old boys school networking. So now I will set back and watch the elections. Blaine, can you pass the peanuts!!!!

jill king

Many unaffiliated switched to vote for Blaine, some Dems too. Going to be interesting....

touscents

Jill, That is clearly not true. There is much more anger than praise for Blaine amoung wavering voters. I doubt any dems switched to repub in order to vote for Blaine, except maybe a few developers. Still, I agree he is the favorite to win the primary.

BstD59

Winning the Primary...maybe, but not the election.

pixie-dust

Citation, please. And because you wrote "many" I don't want to hear how "several" people have mentioned this to you.

Fireball

Jill, is the sky blue in your world too? Is your delusional state natural or drug induced? [whistling]

armillary

500 votes is not interesting.

Crustybachelor

Ha ha. Too funny. No.

backroomfrederick

VOTE against the incinerator. With that fleecing of taxpayers out of the way we can concentrate of making Frederick GREAT. VOTE VOTE VOTE. No more BoCC clans. No more backs to the public. See through names and connect the dots. VOTE. Sweadner took a big stand against the incinerator. [thumbup]

thump1202

i'm voting gray, he has first hand knowledge of what's been going on well enough to right the wrongs. sweadner a complete unknown, all we have from him is a couple LTE where he makes a lot of promises. no idea of his character, i'd advise against splitting the anti blaine vote his way.

Crustybachelor

Being able to possibly vote against Blaine twice just might be worth it. I know 4 or 5 people who have done exactly that. Hopefully they will only have to vote against him once.

bnace42

150,000-plus registered voters in Fred. Co.; let's see how many actually vote. I recently saw in the news that about 2/3 of the the folks in India voted. I'll guess that we sure won't come close to that tally.

Starbuck

In the 2010 primary, just slightly more than 24% (33,232) of registered voters turned out.

Frederick County's population in 2010 was a little above 230,000. That means that about 14% of the population decided the course of Frederick County from 2010 for the next four years.

Let's not let that same mistake happen again.

Starbuck

In 2010, a little above 24% (33,232) of registered voters turned out to vote.

The population of Frederick County in 2010, was a little above 230,000.

That means that 14% of Frederick County's population decided the course that Frederick County would follow from 2010 until now.

Let's not let the same mistake happen again.

Starbuck

Sorry for the duplication. I posted this once, got an error, so I tried to recreate it again. Apparently the first post took.

bukweet

that's okay - you're message is worth reading twice!

dbjanda1

Blaine sounds like Eric Cantor after he lost in the primary wanting to know what the heck happened... Blaine doesn't have a clue either reprehensible or not...Me

bukweet

"I think it's reprehensible for them to try to hijack the Republican primary," Young said.

i think it reprehensible for you blaine young, in a back-room deal, to sell a county asset - CITIZENS/MONTEVue which worth twice your 30 million dollar fire sale price tag.

bukweet

how about this FNP BREAKING NEWS

County gets state pushback for recent actions to sell Citizens, Montevue

ww.fredericknewspost.com/locations/local/frederick_county/county-gets-state-pushback-for-recent-actions-to-sell-citizens/article_722ab61c-f312-11e3-bb8a-001a4bcf6878.html

chickey_soup

Independent vs unaffiliated - this is very confusing for people for some reason.

Registering as an Independent means you have registered as a member of the Independent Party.

Registering as unaffiliated means you are choosing to not be a member of ANY party.

They are very different. I don't even know how many people I've talked to that registered as Independent that really wanted to be unaffiliated.

Educating yourself is the most important part of the democratic process.

Starbuck

Good job explaining that. Many people get confused between the two.

Interesting to note, the Independant Party is no longer recognized in Maryland.

You have 5 choices now in MD:
Republican
Democratic
Libertarian
Green
or you can choose to be unaffiliated.

Starbuck

*Independent, sorry.

chickey_soup

Did not know that, very interesting. I wonder what they did for those previously registered Independent?

Starbuck

Good question. Because inquiring minds want to know, I just called the State Board of Elections.

The answer I received is:"Usually a letter is mailed to the registered voter letting them know that their party is no longer recognized and gives them the opportunity to affiliate with one of the other recognized parties, or become unaffiliated. If they don't hear back from the voter (the person didn't give me a time frame and I forgot to ask how long), they are (eventually) registered as 'Unaffiliated'."

CredibleWitness

As noted above, there is no longer an Independent Party in Maryland because many voters thought they were registering as unaffiliated when in fact they were joining the Independent Party. As a closed primary state, Maryland requires that you affiliate yourself with a party if you wish to have a voice in which candidates that party runs for office in the general election. Also as noted above, certain races such as Board of Ed are non-partisan, with the top vote-getters in the primary advancing to the general election. The margins that decide the last couple of candidates in the Board of Ed primary to advance are often a handful of votes, which makes turnout all the more important.

Joy Sweadner

marksweadner.com

Fredmd21704

Every election, Jenny switches her party, then she gets less and less votes. This should be a hint.

newspostreader

Serious question here - if you register as unaffiliated does that mean you will have both democratic and republican candidates on your ballot or does it only limit you to other candidates that are also unaffiliated?

BstD59

If Unaffiliated you will only be able to vote for non-partisan candidates such as the Board of Education candidates and the Judge of the Circuit Court in the Primary, however in November you can vote for whomever you wish to regarding party affiliation.

Fredmd21704

Independents cannot vote in primaries.

kjswartz

Independents CAN VOTE in the primaries.
Don't lie about that.
There is an important BoE vote during the primaries.

chickey_soup

See my post above. There's a lot of people who thing Independent means unaffiliated.

Also, individuals registered as both Independent or Unaffiliated or any other party can vote in primaries. However they can only vote for candidates either affiliated with their registered party or candidates in a non-partisan race such as school board.

chickey_soup

Side note - In MD it's only R/D and non-partisan in the primaries. Don't assume every states election rules run the same way.

Red_Shift

You will have the same ballot as everyone else in the general election in November. You will not be able to vote in the primary.

chickey_soup

Wrong. Every registered voter can vote in the primary. There are candidates for positions that are non-partisan races. Usually things like judges and school board.

gremlins

I think it's reprehensible to hijack Frederick County.

BstD59

"I think it's reprehensible for them to try to hijack the Republican primary," Young said. It is reprehensible to me that you and your Tea party have tried to hijack the Republican Party.

Yours and your cohorts behavior does not represent Republican values, none of you represent anything but your own selfish, arrogant selves.

You find it reprehensible that voters are temporarily switching parties to vote against you? Maybe you should try opening your eyes and understanding WHY they are.

I am one life long Republican whose vote you will never get. Ever.

Ijamsville gal

[thumbup] absolutely!

richardlyons

Well stated. 11 days. [thumbup]

GrumbleJones

[thumbup] Well said! And that goes for the rest of those in the Mooney cult — Hough, Afzali, Ciliberti and Vogt. Upstanding, responsible members of the Grand Old Party (and right-leaning unaffiliateds) want winning candidates for the general election who possess principles, ideas, a moral compass and practical, productive leadership that can build a consensus to get others to follow their vision and achieve positive results. So participation in the primary is imperative if we're to avoid the embarrassment of being represented on the ballot by the Tinfoil Beanie Brigade come November.

Fireball

Blaine.

touscents

I agree with Blaine that it is reprehensible to switch from dem to repub for some misguided political agenda. Who would do such a thing?

kjswartz

AMENDED AND RESTATED BY-LAWS FREDERICK AREA COMMITTEE FOR TRANSPORTATION, INC.

ARTICLE I NAME AND LOCATION
The name of the Corporation is Frederick Area Committee for Transportation, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as the “Corporation”). The principal office of the Corporation shall be located at 100 N. Market Street, Frederick, Maryland 21701, but meetings of Members and Directors may be held at such places within the State of Maryland as may be designated by the Board of Directors. The Corporation shall operate in a manner consistent with the provisions of the Articles of Incorporation and these By- laws.

ARTICLE II PURPOSES
The Corporation is formed to achieve enhancement of the economy and employment growth in Frederick County through transportation improvements to meet current and future residential and commercial transportation needs by facilitating the improvement of current infrastructure deficiencies and the provision of facilities to accommodate future growth. The specific purposes of the Corporation are as follows:

A. To facilitate, support, and encourage improvements to the highway, transit, and airport systems in the Frederick County region, including the establishment of new highway and transit systems and airport improvements, such as light rail systems, and the repair and maintenance of existing highway and transit systems;

B. To coordinate and work in alignment with the public and other organizations that have associations with the Frederick County business community with goals similar to the Corporation;

C. To organize forums for the presentation of metropolitan and/or urban planning and zoning and transportation issues that relate to the Frederick County region and the social welfare of its inhabitants;

D. To raise funds to support the goals and objectives of the Corporation;

E. To create alliances and working relationships with community business leaders having goals similar to the Corporation;

(From a google search on Frederick County FACT)

armillary

If it was reprehensible they'd make it illegal.

pixie-dust

LOL.

[beam]

CredibleWitness

Folks opposed to Blaine Young should take a hard look at what happened to Eric Cantor in Virginia. His opponent's supporters got off their butts and voted; Cantor's supporters stayed home. David Gray is correct to point out that the results can hinge on a relative handful of votes. You can bet that Young's supporters will be eager to vote. Registered Republicans opposed to Young need to vote. The primary is where he is most vulnerable.

As for those opting out of the two major parties, you have effectively forfeited your ability to affect the outcome. Good move. The rest of us will hold our noses and try to do the best we can without you.

BstD59

I think people are opting out of the major parties because they have finally have had enough of having to vote for the lesser of two evils rather than for the better of two good candidates.

japorciento

Indeed, party affiliation means the least in local elections and, whenever you have three or more candidates for one office (say last year's City Mayoral election) you usually end up with a winner who enjoys the support of less than the majority. Many US cities have adopted instant-runoff or ranked-choice voting, like Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Takoma Park.

Importantly, this simple change to the election laws would guarantee a majority vote for the winner and allow for the emergence of independent and third parties. Something to think about.

Ijamsville gal

Poor Blaine. Is it possible he could be Cantorized?[scared]

bukweet

Ijamsville gal - it absolutely IS possible, and that gives many of us hope of our convictions, and that's why thousands have taken the pro-active measure to switch party affiliation to vote against blaine young in the R primary.

every vote DOES count - b.y. knows it, and that's why blaine says:

"I think it's reprehensible for them to try to hijack the Republican primary,"

armillary

Cantor's career has been wrecked
by a Brat and the Cooter effect
it's a fitting prologue
to our local Boss Hogg
who the voters will roundly reject.

I know, I posted this yesterday, but it's cute so I posted it again.

BstD59

[smile]

thump1202

""I think it's reprehensible for them to try to hijack the Republican primary," Young said."

i find the majority of your behavior and actions reprehensible young, that's why i changed my party affiliation solely to vote against you.

marylandmirage

I had this discussion with a friend about becoming a RINO. He said "You are just like the guy whose horse defeated California Chrome at Belmont". I replied "If the Republicans would run thoroughbreds instead of Jack@$$e$, I wouldn't have had to do it!"

Ijamsville gal

[thumbup]

BRYoung

Rules are rules

kjswartz

Maryland is one of a few states where the Board of Elections can allow an open primary IF either party writes in 60 days before voting (I assume early voting).

Next time, GOP, look at that pool of unaffiliated voters, and ask how you can get their votes.

HINT: ask for their votes in your candidates' selection.

bukweet

BRYoung: Rules are rules -those are words that blaine young doesn't understand.

note to blaine young: election laws are rules you can't change.

joy2bmom

No, I don't think Blaine believes that. I think he thinks that only a handful of loud people (and the same old "libs" who post on these pages) are opposed to him. I think he thinks that giving people free food, and telling everyone that his opponents are raging liberals is how he will win the undecideds. He is sending out mailers saying that his opponents are like O'Malley and Obama, and that they will raise your taxes. Funny thing is, the Gardner board did not raise taxes, but his board has. I suspect that after the primary, things are going to get VERY ugly. Blaine is very competitive and he will try to do whatever it takes to win. However, I think he will turn out to be his own worst enemy. These are merely my opinions. (No flaming, please. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and to make up their own mind and their own decisions at the polls.)

kjswartz

[thumbup][innocent]

BstD59

I think you will find more people agree with you than those who don't.

SaveFrederick

Doesn't Blaine Young know people are switching parties to vote against him because they find him reprehensible?! All the negative and absurd mailings coming mostly from Hough and Young are totally ridiculous and offensive. Blaine wants us to believe that David Gray is the second coming of Obama and O'Malley. No one can make this stuff up. Blaine is desperate and he needs to go.

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