It's not a Mass Exodus

A top story in the July 18, 2007, issue of the Gazette was "Voter registration shows some party-switching going on."

No one is calling it a mass exodus, but it smacks of the proverbial rats deserting a sinking ship.

There's a migration underway from the Republican Party to other political affiliations. The reason: disenchantment with party leadership.

Norty Turchen of Dolan Springs, one of the two Democratic candidates for Mohave County Supervisor in District 1, has been hosting a non-partisan voter registration effort at his wife, Judy's, business, Tacky Stuf 4 Horses, centrally located on Pierce Ferry Road in Dolan Springs.

"We haven't put up any signs supporting the Democratic Party. We've just been trying to get people to register to vote," Turchen said. "Last weekend, we saw the strangest things happening."

Some are re-registering with their same parties after moving, either from one local address to another, or even to Mohave County from other parts of the nation.

Others are the elderly, signing up to vote for the very first time in their lives.

"It's amazing. Here are these old people, even older than me, who never felt the need to vote before," Turchen said. "Now, they're so discouraged at the way our country is being run that they're coming out to register so they can cast their vote. They want to see some big changes made."

And a good number are Republicans who are changing their part affiliation. And they're registering as Democrats.

"We had seven Republicans come in on Saturday to tell us they're fed up with that party's leadership and they're changing over to the Democratic Party," Turchen said.

A call to Oatman Precinct 26 Republican Precinct man Val Starr of Golden Valley confirmed Turchen's observations: Republicans are leaving the party in numbers unseen by the party in the past.

"There's been a trickle of people leaving the Republican Party going on for a while now," Starr said.