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Democrats seek more Mohave County voters; GOP wants to reclaim independents

KINGMAN - The Democratic Party has an uphill battle to collect more registered voters in Arizona and Mohave County before the 2014 election.

According to the Arizona Secretary of State, the party lost nearly 21,000 voters statewide since 2010, dropping from more than 1 million voters to more than 981,000 voters in January. The party lost more than 3,000 voters in Mohave County, dropping from 28,210 in 2010 to 25,195.

"We were aware of some drops and this is pretty significant for us," said Joe Longoria, the chairman of the Mohave County Democratic Central Committee. "I think people are afraid to come out because of the lopsidedness of the numbers in Mohave County, because they're not Republicans.

"We're making an effort to have an event each month, just to let people know we're here. It's an uphill battle but every little bit counts."

Overall, the number of registered voters in Mohave County and the state has continued to increase.

The Republican Party is also making an effort to collect more voters.

The Republican Party saw an increase in voters statewide, from more than 1.13 million in 2010 to 1.14 million in January. The party gained 1,210 voters in Mohave County, increasing from 46,663 in 2010 to 47,873.

Mohave County Republican Central Committee Chair Ron Gould said the state party leadership has set a statewide goal of a 20 percent increase in voters before the 2014 election.

"It's a high goal. We need to get some of those Independent voters back," he said.

According to the Secretary of State's Office, the state saw an 80,000 - person increase in registering as "other" or Independent. In 2010, the state had 982,477. In January, the Secretary of State's Office counted more than a million residents as registered Independents.

Mohave County followed that pattern and saw an increase of more than 3,000 Independent voters, from 40,792 in 2010 to 43,831.

The trick will be reaching out to young voters, Gould said.

"It's the way people receive information now. A lot of them don't read newspapers, watch TV or listen to the radio," he said. "We may have to go back to a mail campaign."

According to the Secretary of State's Office, Mohave County's voter rolls have increased by more than 1,200 since the 2010 general election. The county had a total of 116,338 registered voters in 2010 and 117,632 registered voters in the last count the office did in January.

The state also saw an increase of nearly 75,000 registered voters since the 2010 election, from more than 3.1 million voters in 2010 to more than 3.2 million voters in January.

The Green Party also grew by 246 voters statewide, increasing from 4,820 voters in 2010 to 5,066 in January. The party gained seven voters in Mohave County, increasing from 113 voters in 2010 to 120.

The new Americans Elect Party was recognized as a political party by the state in 2012. It saw an increase of 81 voters, from 177 voters during the 2012 primary election to 258 voters in January. The party gained six voters in Mohave County since the 2012 primary, increasing from three voters in 2012 to nine voters.

There were some losers, too.

The Libertarian Party lost around 970 people statewide, dropping from 24,382 voters in 2010 to 23,412. But it gained 44 voters in Mohave County, increasing from 560 voters in 2010 to 604.


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