Significant growth in the Comanche County Libertarian Party

Now that voter registration in Comanche County is complete, officials have noted significant growth in the Libertarian Party.
Published: Oct. 21, 2022 at 6:17 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - Now that voter registration in Comanche County is complete, officials have noted significant growth in the Libertarian Party.

Comanche County has seen some changes in the last 5 years and the different political parties here have different ideas of why and what elections will look like going forward.

In 2017, Comanche County was at 1.03% Libertarian and now they are at 2.35%.

Marianne Smith, the vice chairwoman of the Comanche County Democratic Party, said she’s okay with the new stats and hopes this leads to ranked voting.

Ranked voting is when people vote for their candidates in a sequence like first second or third.

“I liked to see it happen because I honestly believe that we will get better voter turnout,” Smith said.

Smith said she’s a lifelong Democrat but has voted outside her party before because her trust is in the candidate, not the party.

“Don’t necessarily mean that I haven’t voted for a Libertarian or even a Republican,” Smith said.

The Comanche County Republican Party Chairman, Darmey Gleaves, sent us the following statement:

“From what I have gathered talking to independents here in Comanche County, a majority of them have changed from the Democrat party due to the fact that they can now vote in the Democrat primary, but don’t agree with the leftist values of the Democrat Party. We have had some changes from the republican party, but from my conversations, it seems to be primarily Democrat. The Comanche County Republican Party is still seeing significant growth. We have had several of the major campaigns comment about how much involvement our county party has. We are positioning our county to be a major leader in the State. I believe, as we focus on getting back to the fundamental values and principles, people will grow with us. Our principles are just common sense Oklahoma values. As people see and experience that, they tend to gravitate towards the Comanche County Republican Party”

Darmey Gleaves, Comanche County Republican Party Chairman

But Smith disagrees.

“Maybe they’re sick of the two-party system. It could be that they don’t want to register as a Republican because it has just been such a devious process within the last two national elections. And, you know what I am talking about, their name-calling. And, maybe they’re thinking its time for a third party to rise up,” Smith said.

Officials with the Oklahoma State Election Board said, even if the Libertarian Party continues to rise, they will have to go through legislatures for any voting changes.