From Blue to Red

Election Board numbers show rise in Republican Party in state, county

By Jeff Shultz

Voter registration numbers released this week by the Oklahoma Election Board (OEB) reveal a county and state slowly going from blue to red.
According to the OEB, registered Republicans in Oklahoma, which has long been considered a state full of Democrats, began gaining ground on the Democrat Party in 2014 when the amount of registered Republicans rose from 828,257 to 854,329.
Meanwhile, during the same reporting period, registered Democrats in the state fell from 943,283 in 2012 to 885,609 in 2014.
Current numbers show Republicans make up 47.4 percent of the electorate, while Democrats constitute 36.6 percent of voter registration. Libertarians consist of 0.4 percent of the voter population and registered Independents account for nearly 15.6 percent, according to the OEB.
Republican Party registration continue to grow in 2016 and 2018 when Oklahoma Republicans gained more ground on Democrats with 2018 numbers showing 942,621 registered Republicans to 769,772 Democrats.
As of January 15 of this year the OEB said the state had 1,008,775 Republicans to 777,770 Democrats.
Of note, though, is the increase in Independent voter registrations.
In 2018, Oklahoma reported 298,867 Independent voters, a rise of 69,797 from 2012.
Garvin County voter registration also flipped during the six-year reporting period, according to the OBE.
The Garvin County Democratic Party fell in numbers in 2018 with 6,322 county voters registering as a Democrat compared to 9,330 Democrats in 2012.
Meanwhile, the number of Republicans and Independents had a rise in registrations during the same reporting period.
Republicans gained 2,461 voters while Independents grew by 429 voters.
Voter Registration Marks All-Time High Following a Gubernatorial Election
Statewide, the official voter registration statistics show the highest number of registered voters following a gubernatorial election since the board began recording voter registration statistics in 1960.
This year’s count reveals 2,126,897 people registered to vote, an increase of nearly 111,000 voters from the same time last year.
“As Oklahoma’s chief election official, I am very encouraged by today’s voter registration statistics. Our state saw a big increase in voter engagement in 2018, and I am hopeful that this trend will continue through 2019 and into the 2020 elections,” said Paul Ziriax, Secretary of the State Election Board. “For eligible citizens who are not currently registered to vote, there is no time like the present.”