Half the people reading this likely identify as independent voters

May 24, 2023

Half the people reading this likely identify as independent voters
The Orlando Sentinel


Read this Commentary in The Orlando Sentinel by Florida Fair and Open Primaries Director  Steve Hough:

“In a monthly survey, Gallup asks voters whether they consider themselves a Republican, a Democrat or an independent? Their March 2023 survey revealed 49% consider themselves independent.

With these kinds of numbers, why are independents ignored and denied full rights of participation in the electoral process? It’s likely due to a follow-up question asking whether the voter leans more to the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. Without delving deeper, this allows political scientists and pundits to erroneously conclude that we are not truly independent. I’m a lifelong independent, and I’m sure I’m not alone in taking offense.

As the director of Florida Fair and Open Primaries and a Florida task force leader for Veterans for Political Innovation, I interact with people who have discarded their longtime party affiliations and young new voters who are registering without declaring a party affiliation. We are a military-friendly state, yet half of military veterans maintaining a nonpartisan stance after serving cannot vote in our primary elections. I believe there’s a better explanation for the phenomenal growth of self-proclaimed independents than to suggest that we are being deceitful….”