New Jersey added 4,938 new voters during the first 18 days of May leading into the May 18 deadline to register to vote for the June 8 primary election.
The state added 822 new Republicans and 731 new Democrats, with 3,240 of the new voters –about 66% of the statewide total — remaining unaffiliated with any political party.
Unaffiliated voters are free to declare their party affiliation when they vote in the primary election, but the deadline for party switches has passed.
Republicans continued a narrow trend of outpacing Democrats in new voters. In April, New Jersey added 3,062 new Republicans and 2,906 new Democrats.
New Jersey now has 1,089,493 more Democrats than Republicans. That number was 1,089,584 at the beginning of the month.
Registered Democrats now outnumber unaffiliated voters, sometimes referred to as independents, by 120,916 – down slightly from 123,435 on May 1. Until 2020, New Jersey had always had more unaffiliateds than Democrats.
The largest increases in new voters over the first 18 days of May came from Ocean (1,662) and Hudson (1,068) counties.
Three counties saw a drop in the total number of registered voters during the same time period: Essex is down 457, Gloucester has dropped 439, and Salem has 4 less voters than it did at the beginning of the month.
New Jersey is 39.1% Democratic, 22.4% Republican, and 37.3% unaffiliated.
In 2001, the last time Republicans had a governor and majorities in both houses of the Legislature, 55% of New Jersey voters were not affiliated with either political party. In two decades, years, that number has dropped to 37%.
Democrats made up 25% of the voters in 2001, while 19.5% were registered as Republicans.
The state acknowledged nearly 11 months ago that a computer glitch at the state Motor Vehicle Commission is responsible for a sudden surge that attaches the wrong party identification to some voters, limiting their ability to participate in primary elections.
The now-defunct Natural Law Party, which shut down in 2004, has seen their voter registration just steadily over the last 17 years. But in the first 18 days of the month, possibly as voters take greater responsibility for confirming their own registration status, the number of Natural Law Party members dropped by 13.
The Natural Law Party had gained 54 new voters between Election Day 2020 and May 1, 2021 and is likely a self-correction by voters who learned of their own misclassification rather than through the efforts of the embattled chief of the state Motor Vehicles Commission, Sue Fulton.
The Reform Party of New Jersey was founded in 1995 as a vehicle for Ross Perot’s independent presidential campaign, had grown from 146 members to 1,962 now, even though the organization disbanded more than 15 years ago. In the first part of May, they lost 13 members.