Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 06:14PM
Sad to say, the Secretary of State's web site is not the most user friendly one on the planet. To get primary information (including how many undeclared voters took either Democratic or Republican ballots), several clicks are needed.
That's a long-winded explanation that I don't have numbers for the entire state, but I did get numbers from city hall in Manchester today, and they're about what one would think.
Of the undeclared voters who opted to vote last week's primary in Manchester, 58.7 percent took a Republican ballot; 41.3 percent a Democratic ballot--2069 to 1456. More undeclared voters opted for Republican ballots in every Manchester ward except the highly Democratic (and low turnout) Ward 3.
This was to be expected, and my guess is that the pattern was replicated throughout the state.
Simple. Because contests drives turnout, and there were more contests on the Republican side. Even fewer would most likely have requested Democratic ballots had it not been for the race between Maggie The Dog Torturer Hassan and Jackie Cilley at the top of the ticket.
In fact, Secretary of State Bill Gardner had predicted a wider spread between the number of Democratic and Republican votes cast.
As is usually the case, a very high percentage (more than 90 percent in Manchester) of undeclared voters opted to revert back to their undeclared status prior to leaving the polling locations.
Remember how Republican leadership (Bill O'Brien, David Bates and others who hoped to kidnap voters into their party) failed last year to pass legislation which would have prevented undeclared voters from reverting back to that status for three months. I opposed that legislation (and won) largely because I knew most undeclared voters want to revert back to that status. To hold them hostage so either party could gain bragging rights by adding a few more voters to its ranks...well, it's just plain insidious, but altogether typical of the O'Brien/\Bates regime! It also would have been a nightmare for town and city clerks.
When we check to final numbers from the Secretary of State, expect to find slightly more Republicans than prior to the primary since a small percentage did not revert back.
Interestingly in Manchester, Republicans now have more registered voters (albeit only slightly) in four of the 12 wards--(18 more in Ward 1 which used to be extremely Republican; 38 more in Ward 6; 11 more in Ward 12; and most significantly, 223 more in my own Ward 8, most likely due to the suburban nature of new development in the ward).
Five of the 12 Manchester wards (4, 8, 9, 11, and 12) now have more Undeclared voters than either Democrats or Republicans. Since Manchester was the last city to go to non-partisan municipal elections, the city was the last place where undeclareds were not tops in registration, but that's changing slowly.
Overall, Manchester now has--
53,996 registered voters
19,292 Democrats--35.7 percent
18,434 Undeclared--34.1 percent
16,270 Republicans--30.1 percent
Note, however, that your typical Manchester Democrat is not nearly as liberal as your typical Democrat statewide.
One other note...the only tie in the state was in Ward 5 for the second State Rep position on the Democratic side election night. Word is that Tim O'Flaherty (a good Irish name for a good Irish ward) won by one vote (it was 127-127 election night in this extremely low turnout ward; Rokas topped the ticket with 251 votes) over former Rep, African American Richard Komi. Remember Komi...he's the guy who decided to run for mayor after serving one term as State Rep...of course he got blown away, then he lost in the Democratic primary two years ago, and now has lost again this year.
Holy upward mobility Batman, can that be true?
It sure is.
Ward 5 is the city's most Democratic ward, but Republican Norma Champagne snuck in with a win two years ago, and Republican Daniel Garthwaite polled very strongly in this year's primary--he got 243 votes. An upset in the making against O'Flaherty? Perhaps.