Thanks to Manchester City Clerk Matt Normand, we are provided an advance look at primary day registration, first time voters, and how Independents (officially known as Undeclared in New Hampshire) went last Tuesday.
Keep in mind that these totals are only for Manchester; it’ll be a while until the Secretary of State’s office has the final statewide totals.
New Hampshire state law allows for any Undeclared voter to take a primary ballot for either party and to actually revert to undeclared status before leaving the polling place. Among others, I’ve fought hard for this “right” in the past, and indication from Manchester are that Undeclared voters clearly want to remain undeclared. In the past, some Reps (sadly, mostly Reublicans) have attempted to force a three month waiting period before undeclared voters could revert back; I always thought of it as a three month hostage takeing!
89.3 percent of undeclared voters in Manchester (2645 of 2963) changed back to the undeclared status prior to leaving the polling place. I suspect the number will be similar statewide.
However, I was a bit surprised that 24.7 percent of Undeclared voters took a Democratic ballot (732 of the 2963); 75.3 percent (2231) took a Republican ballot. Since there were very few contests on the Democratic side (Executive Councilor, County Commissioner only), one would have expected even fewer Undeclared voters to opt for a Democratic. I’ll look for he number to be closer to 85-15 percent statewide; let’s make that an hypothesis.
Equally as puzzling to me was a relatively high number of new voters. Another great feature of New Hampshire law is that a voter can register and vote at the same time.
One would have expected very few voters energized enough to come out and register Democratic since they then had to vote Democratic.
Of 608 new registrants (that’s about 50 per ward, much more than I would have guessed), 263 registered Republican (43.3 percent), 249 undeclared (40.9 percent), and 96 Democratic (15.8 percent).
With 7230 Manchester voters taking a Republican ballot, Undeclareds (2231) represented 30.8 percent. With 5026 total Democratic ballots cast, Undeclareds (732) represented 14.6 percent. Overall, of 12,256 total votes cast, the Undeclared total of 2963 represents 24.2 percent.
My hypothesis is that we'll find Manchester slightly more Democratic than the overall state profile, no big revelation since registered Democrats enjoy a significant lead among the city's 52.228 regisltered voters.
I may be the only one interested in such data (I suspect not) and for providing it so quickly, a big thanks to Matt Normand. I’ll run the percentages statewide once the data is in…whether you want me to or not.