North Carolina is experiencing record voter registration — to the tune of 603,000 new registrants this year — giving some 6 million people in the state voting status for the Nov. 4 general election. And there’s still time to add to that number: Regular voter registration for this election ends Oct. 10, and would-be voters can still register and vote at the same time during One Stop Early Voting, Oct. 16 through Nov. 1.
According to a report today in The News & Observer of Raleigh, Democrats now hold the registration edge by 2.7 million to 2 million Republicans, and high registration rates in the urban centers of Durham, Wake, Mecklenburg, Forsyth and Guilford counties account for more than a third of the new registrations. Trends cited in the article include:
• More than 30 percent of newly registered voters are black people, who make up some 22 percent of the state’s population.
• Some 210,000 — about a third — of the new voters are between the ages of 18 and 24, with only one in five of those registering Republican.
• Of the 603,000 new voters, 48 percent registered as Democrats, 21 percent registered as Republicans and almost a third are independents.
According to the most recent figures on the Buncombe County Board of Elections Web site, there were 164,564 registered voters in the county as of April 21. Democrats accounted for roughly 44 percent; Republicans around 30 percent, and independents (unaffiliated) about 26 percent.
— Nelda Holder, associate editor