With the voter registration deadline still weeks away, there are already more registered voters than there were four years ago.
The latest tally shows 32,691 registered voters in the city – 187 more than were on the rolls during the last presidential election year.
Republican Registrar Ellie Klapatch said the numbers are "going to be higher" by the time the voter rolls are closed on October 28.
Already, there are more registered voters in Bristol than the city has had in at least 15 years.
Democrats hold the loyalty of a slight plurality of the voters in town, outnumbering independents by a tiny margin.
During the 2004 presidential contest and for a couple of years after that, unaffiliated voters totaled more than either party in Bristol, but the hot Democratic U.S. Senate primary and a dissatisfaction with President George W. Bush caused the number of Democrats to rise again, officials said.
For generations before 2004, the Democrats held sway in Bristol, but a trend toward more independents has slowly eroded the party's advantage.
Currently, Democrats claim the allegiance of 13,652 voters in Bristol while Republicans trail with 5,454.The number of unaffiliated voters stands at 13,542, just a tad shy of the Democratic tally.There are 43 people who signed on with a minor party.That means Democrats hold 41.7 percent of the voters, while independents make up 41.4 percent.
Republicans trail badly, with 16.7 percent of the electorate declaring allegiance to the GOP side.
But the Republicans have captured 15 to 20 percent of the voters for many years. Their numbers have slipped only a little over the past two decades.
Democrats, on the other hand, used to have a commanding hold on the electorate.
In 1984, for example, 49 percent of city voters called themselves Democrats and only 32 percent were unaffiliated.
Still, the last presidential contest saw just 39.5 percent of the city's electorate registering as Democrats so the gain during the past four years is substantial.
In 2004, 43.1 percent of voters were independents, a number that has gone down as much as the Democratic tally has risen.
The overall number of registered voters in 2004 was 31,777. In 2000, it was 31,062. In 1996, there were 31,580 voters.
But the city has seen larger numbers in the past. In 1982, for example, the number of voters was 34,570.
The deadline for in-person registration this year is October 28, though there's no reason to wait that long. The registrars have an office on the first floor of City Hall. Mail-in forms have to be postmarked by October 21.
Absentee ballot will be available starting next week.
The election is on Tuesday, November 4.
Most voters – District 78A (4,135)
Most Democratic – District 77A (44.3 percent)
Most Republican – District 78A (19.7 percent)
Least Democratic – District 22 ((38.7 percent)
Least Republican – District 79C (15.7 percent)
Total number of precincts - 10
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