SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — It’s technically the fastest-growing political party in Utah, but you may not recognize the name.
It’s called the Independent American Party. In 2014, just under 5,000 active voters were registered to this party in Utah. That number is now 64,008, making it the third-largest party in the state of Utah.
Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen said a lot of people think they’re registering as an Independent when choosing the Independent American Party. In Utah, Independents are supposed to register as “unaffiliated.”
“I think just an education thing for the voters to realize that this really is joining or affiliating with a political party versus unaffiliated,” Swensen said.
Swensen said it’s been an issue in the past with the Independent Party and the Personal Choice Party, but not to this level. At last check, Swensen said around 22,000 registered voters in Salt Lake County were registered as Independent Americans.
The first vice chair of the Independent American Party, Leo Lindquist, disagrees. He said people in Utah are sick of the two parties.
“I think people take excuses for so long, and then they get determined to find out how to solve the problem. And I think they feel that we can help them do that,” Lindquist said.
Lindquist said his party wants limited government and to maintain a constitutional republic. He added people in Utah, many of whom are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, put a lot of value in the constitution.
Election officials want to make clear that you can vote in this election regardless of the party you are registered with. However, party affiliation does have an impact on which primary you are able to participate in.