Many perspectives, 1 simple etiquette

2024 Voter Registration by Party in Each State

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Created: 21 November, 2023
Updated: 19 January, 2024
3 min read

Photo Credit: Ernie Journeys / Unsplash


The Independent Voter Project (IVP) has updated its interactive primary map with the voter registration numbers for the 2024 cycle, including a breakdown of voter registration by political party in each state. 

The latest voter registration numbers were provided by and in collaboration with L2 Data, which has established itself over its multi-decade history as a trusted leader in providing comprehensive nonpartisan voter information.

The map not only gives voters insight into the nation’s electoral makeup, but also shows how many are affected by inequities in the electoral process like closed primaries -- where voters are forced to register with a political party if they want to vote.

Each state has its own primary election rules. The lack of a unified standard means that even election experts can mix up their terminology, leading to confusion among voters. IVP’s map clears up the confusion.

Independent Voter Project provides an easy–to-understand breakdown glossary of the general categories of primaries as they relate to nonpartisan voting rights.

Voter registration, generally, has fluctuated nationwide. In some places, often in rural states like Montana and North Dakota, as well as some areas in the Northeast, registration has declined. But in the populous states, like California, New York, and Texas, registration continues to climb.

And even in areas that have seen a decline, the total number of voters registered outside the major parties – whether it be independent, third party, or other – has risen.

In fact, according to the latest data, voters registered unaffiliated outnumber members of at least one of the two major parties in half the states that register voters by party. Notably, these voters are often denied the right to vote in many primary elections -- even though primaries are funded by taxpayers.

Not every state registers voters by party. In open partisan primary states like Arkansas and Texas, for example, voters do not declare a party affiliation when registering to vote.

The states that register voters by party tend to have primary rules that condition the right to vote on joining a party, like New Jersey. Or, they have such convoluted rules for their presidential primaries that many voters don’t know their rights – like in California.

While most voting-rights organizations have focused on class-based voter discrimination, the Independent Voter Project has taken two cases all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States to challenge the constitutionality of the primaries conducted in New Jersey and the presidential primary system in California.

To date, SCOTUS has not heard either case.

Both California and New Jersey, for example, have seen growth in their independent voter populations over the years. No Party Preference voters, when combined with voters mistakenly registered as “American Independent,” outnumber Republicans in California.

Independents in New Jersey outnumber Republicans outright --- and are on pace to overtake Democratic voter registration as well.

Yet, in all-important primary elections, independent voters are told they have to join a party or sit on the sidelines while the parties choose their candidates for them.

Millions of voters across the country are affected by the systemic inequities present in taxpayer-funded and administered elections. These inequities exist on the East Coast, West Coast, Midwest, red states, and blue states. 

Do you know how your state’s primary election system works and how voters in your state are affected by the primary rules? Check out IVP’s interactive primary map to find out.