With voters declaring for parties at primary sites, number of unaffiliated voters on Johnson County rolls drops nearly 10 percent

Unaffiliated Johnson County voters who declared a party at their polling sites on election day so they could participate in the primary appear to have broken in favor of registering as Democrats — but Johnson County Republicans continue to retain a massive advantage in the total number of registered voters.

The monthly voter registration numbers released by the Johnson County Election Office show that the number of registered Democrats in Johnson County rose from 101,516 in August to 109,180 in September, an increase of 7,664.

The number of registered Republicans rose from 180,244 in August to 185,931 in September, an increase of 5,687.

Meanwhile, the number of registered unaffiliated voters dropped from 121,715 to 110,126, a decrease of 11,589 or about 9.5 percent. Under Kansas law, unaffiliated voters have the ability to participate in a primary election if they declare party affiliation at their polling site on election day.

Democrats have picked up new voters at a higher rate than Republicans over the past two years, but Republicans’ large advantage in the number of total registered voters remains. In September 2016, Democrats had 95,875 registered voters. They’ve picked up 13,305 voters since. In the same period, Republicans added 4,664 voters to their roles.

But even though they’ve nearly tripled the number of voters Republicans have added to their roles the past two years, Democrats still have less than 60 percent as many registered voters as Republicans in Johnson County.