It’s been a quarter century since so many people wanted to vote in Bristol.
At the close of business Monday, with one more day left to register to vote, the city voters rolls totaled 34,362 – with almost 1,200 of them signing up in the past three weeks.
“It’s like a zoo,” Republican Registrar Ellie Klapatch said Monday.
Voters have until 8 p.m. tonight to sign up to vote at the registrars’ office on the first floor of City Hall.
Klapatch said that given the expected swarm on Tuesday, the final registration tallies for Bristol probably won’t be done until Thursday.
But already they show the highest number of registered voters since the early 1980s. They far exceed the registration numbers of any presidential race in 20 years.
For the first time in a couple of years, the number of unaffiliated voters – those who didn’t pick a political party – exceeds the number of Democrats.
Democratic Registrar Bob Badal said there was a jump in the number who signed up as unaffiliated voters.
“Now they know it’s a general election,” he said, and they don’t need to pick a party as they would in a primary.
“The young people know what’s going on,” Badal said. He said he hopes the new voters will vote in all the races, not just the presidential contest.
There’s an unmistakable Democratic tide to the overall picture.
Since October 8, there have been 181 new Republicans added to the voter rolls. The Democrats, on the other hand, have added 774. That’s a 4-to-1 margin.
The number of unaffiliated voters stood Monday at 14,367 while Democrats trailed slightly with 14,316. Republicans claimed 5,635. There are 44 people registered to minor parties.
The election is Tuesday, Nov. 4.
Contact Steve Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org