PHOENIX — The number of registered voters in Maricopa County who identify themselves as independents or have no party affiliation is growing.

These voters - whom the Maricopa County Elections Department describes as "other" - are only about 15,000 registrations away from becoming the biggest voting bloc in the county.

"Throughout 2021, they have accounted for consistently about 50% of all new registrations in the county," Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

The latest county data shows Republicans still lead with more than 912,000 registered voters in Maricopa County. Voters who are described as "other" are not that far behind at about 898,000 registrations.

Democratic registered voters trail them at nearly 819,000. There are also about 24,000 Libertarian registered voters.

"We've seen the Democrat-Republican gap close just a little bit, but it's really 'others' who have been doing most of the movement," Richer said.

He also noted there are now more than 2.6 million registered voters in Maricopa County, making it the second-largest voting jurisdiction in the country. The largest is Los Angeles County.

About 1.4 million of those voters will get ballots in the mail this week to participate in next month's election. They'll get to vote on bonds and overrides for school districts in their area. No elected offices are up for grabs.