According to statistics released by the Buncombe County Board of Elections, 14,415 new voters have registered since early February. The vast majority (98 percent) of the new voters are registered as Democrats (7,355) or unaffiliated (6,765). The number of registered Republicans stayed roughly the same, going up by 186 new voters.
The numbers, released by the Board of Elections on Oct. 21, show a total of 173,823 voters registered in Buncombe County. As of early February, there were 159,408 registered voters. The increase — approximately 9 percent — is considerable.
In February, there were 69,956 registered Democrats, 49,023 registered Republicans and 40,429 unaffiliated voters. Now there are 77,311 registered Democrats, 49,209 registered Republicans and 47,194 voters unaffiliated with either party. There are also 109 registered Libertarian voters. The Democratic Party, both nationally and locally, has placed an emphasis on registering new voters in this election cycle.
The deadline for voter registration was Oct. 10, but voters can register and vote at early voting locations. Early voting has already begun in 15 locations around the county, and will remain open until 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 1.
— David Forbes, staff writer