Voters cast ballots on the first day of early voting at the Tulsa County Election Board on Nov. 1. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World file

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma State Election Board’s annual Jan. 15 voter registration count topped 2.1 million, the most ever following a gubernatorial election.

“Our state saw a big increase in voter engagement in 2018, and I am hopeful that this trend will continue through 2019 and into the 2020 elections,” said Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax.

Voter registration totals rise and fall with election cycles and are typically highest following a presidential election. The Jan. 15, 2017, count — taken two months after the 2016 presidential election — put total registration at 2,161,881, or about 35,000 more than this year’s count.

In 2015, following the last gubernatorial election, it stood at slightly over 2 million.

Republican and independent registrations have continued their upward trends of recent years while Democratic voters dwindled. From 2015 to 2019, independent voters grew by 27 percent and Republicans by 14 percent, while Democrats dropped 12 percent.

Libertarians, who became a recognized party in 2017, totaled 9,274.

Republican registration topped 1 million for the first time in the annual January count, at 1,008,775. Democratic registration topped 1 million as recently as 2009, but this year came in at 777,770, up about 8,000 from a year ago but more than 100,000 less than in 2015.

Oklahoma’s voter registration rolls are continuously updated with new additions and cancellations. Registrations determined to be inactive are purged in odd-numbered years, causing noticeable dips in the counts taken in January of even-numbered years.

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Randy Krehbiel



Twitter: @rkrehbiel

Randy has been with the Tulsa World since 1979. He is a native of Hinton, Okla., and graduate of Oklahoma State University. Krehbiel primarily covers government and politics. Phone: 918-581-8365

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