Nonpartisan bloc gains importance

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

When you walked into the polls today, the person ahead of you in line probably belonged to the same political party as you.

But maybe not.

A check of the registered voters at various precincts in Red Willow County provides an enlightening snapshot of the political leanings of various neighborhoods.

Not surprisingly, the county is overwhelmingly Republican, with 4,418 registered as members of the GOP.

More telling is the number of nonpartisans, 1,361, and Libertarians, 24, with only 1,353 registered Democrats in the county.

"Independence" runs strongest in Ward 4, Precinct 1, which votes at the Evangelical Free Church in McCook, with 195 nonpartisans and six Libertarians.

Elsewhere, the count is a total of 245 nonpartisans and 4 Libertarians voting at the Community Building on the fairgrounds, 163 and 2 at the United Methodist Church in Indianola, 139 and 2 at McCook Christian Church, 130 and 1 at the Bureau of Reclamation. Of 326 who vote at the Bartley Town Hall, 216 are Republican, 54 are Democrat, 56 are nonpartisan and none are Libertarians.

As we reported earlier this year, only Republicans will be able to vote in the race for Red Willow County Sheriff, which will be decided in today's election.

Judging from Red Willow County numbers alone, the nonpartisan voting bloc is becoming more significant. The Nebraska Democratic Party allows nonpartisans to request a Democratic ballot to vote in the primary.

The Republican Party should do the same.

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