Independent ranks in Mass. keep growing

Voter rolls grow 310,000 in advance of Tuesday primary


SINCE THE LAST PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY election in Massachusetts, the state’s voter rolls have grown by almost 310,000 people, or more than 7 percent, and nearly all of them have been independents.

Massachusetts has 4,581,319 voters who are registered to vote in Tuesday’s presidential primaries, an increase of 309,484 people, or 7.25 percent, over the total ahead of the 2016 presidential primaries, according to new data obtained from Secretary of State William Galvin’s office.

There are 1,491,600 registered Democrats (32.56 percent of all voters), 462,586 registered Republicans (10.1 percent) and another 2,564,076 unenrolled voters (55.97 percent) who can choose which ballot to pull when they show up at their polling place.

Since the 2016 primaries, the number of unenrolled voters increased by more than 12 percent, or 286,316 people.

For Democrats, the almost 310,000 newly registered voters translated to an increase of just 1,265 registered Democrats, a 0.08 percent rise. Despite the tiny increase, Democrats in 2020 make up a smaller share of the state’s electorate (32.56 percent) than they did four years ago (34.89 percent). The high-water mark for the Democratic Party came in October 2008, when there were 1,559,464 registered Democrats.

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The Republican Party saw a familiar trend — a decline in total number of registered voters and in the percentage of the electorate — continue between 2016 and 2020. The party lost 5,709 voters,  or 1.22 percent of its enrollment since the 2016 primaries. Registered Republicans account for 10.1 percent of the state’s electorate, compared to 10.96 percent in 2016 and 13.12 percent in 2004.

Since the 2004 presidential primary, the Mass. GOP has shed 49,810 voters or roughly 9.75 percent. The Republican Party’s high-water mark was in 1954 when it had 743,736 voters registered in the Bay State.