The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
, is a voter of a democratic country
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...
who does not align him- or herself with a political party. Independents are variously defined as a voter who votes for candidates and issues rather than on the basis of a political ideology
Ideologies of parties
This is a list of political ideologies. Many political parties base their political action and election program on an ideology. In social studies, a political ideology is a certain ethical set of ideals, principles, doctrines, myths or symbols of a social movement, institution, class, and or large...
In politics, a partisan is a committed member of a political party. In multi-party systems, the term is widely understood to carry a negative connotation - referring to those who wholly support their party's policies and are perhaps even reluctant to acknowledge correctness on the part of their...
; a voter who does not have long-standing loyalty to, or identification with, a political party
Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy is a book by sociologist Robert Michels, published in 1911 , and first introducing the concept of iron law of oligarchy...
; a voter who does not usually vote for the same political party from election
An election is a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy operates since the 17th century. Elections may fill offices in the legislature, sometimes in the...
to election; or a voter who self-describes as an independent.
The definition of an "independent voter" is controversial and fraught with implications.
The earliest concept of independents is of a person whose political choices, by definition, were made based on issues and candidates (due to lack of party affiliation).