Voter Registration Trends Continue to Bring Shift in N.C.’s Political Landscape | Beaufort County Now | During the nine-week period between May 13, 2017 and July 8, 2017, North Carolina's voter rolls grew by 24,486 voters

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Voter Registration Trends Continue to Bring Shift in N.C.’s Political Landscape

    Publisher's note: This post, by Susan Myrick, was originally published in the voter registration section of Civitas's online edition.

    During the nine-week period between May 13, 2017 and July 8, 2017, North Carolina's voter rolls grew by 24,486 voters. Democrats saw a net gain of 1,902 voters; Republicans gained 5,276 voters, Libertarians picked up 484 voters and the unaffiliated ranks grew by 16,824 voters.

    Just two months ago, Republicans outnumbered the unaffiliated ranks by 24,676 voters. On July 15th, that number has shrunk to 13,128. If the trend continues, it will only be a few short months before there are more unaffiliated voters in North Carolina than Republicans. While this will be a noteworthy development in one of North Carolina's two major political parties, the real change is taking place among Democrats where voter registration continues to lag significantly behind Republicans and unaffiliated voters each month.

    In fact, the Democrats are the only segment of the political registration rolls to have decreased since 2009. The voter registration trend that began in January 2009 shows no sign of stopping. Each week Democrats either lose voters or make only negligible gains while Republicans can count on adding voters. It's among the Unaffiliated voting population where the voter registration explosion is occurring though. Since January 2009, Democrats have experienced a net loss of 229,645 voters, Republicans a net gain of 49,317 voters and the unaffiliated ranks have gained a total of 638,613 voters.

    There are nine counties where unaffiliated voters out-number both the Republicans and the Democrats twenty-four counties where unaffiliated voters outnumber only Democrats and thirty-nine counties where they outnumber only Republicans.

    On July 15, 2017 Democrats made up 39.0 percent (2,640,128) of registered voters, down from 45.7 percent in January 2009, Republicans made up 30.4 percent (2,053,920), down from 31.9 percent, and unaffiliated voters are at 30.2 percent (2,039,067) up from 22.3 percent in January 2009.

    You can watch voter registration change in your county and statewide each week and see all the historical statistics and more by visiting Civitas' Carolina Transparency website: www.carolinatransparency.com/voterregistration. The website is updated each week with data straight from the State Board of Elections. The website allows users to compare data week to week, month to month and even year to year.
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