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Press Release: Analysis of 2012 Turnout: Who Voted in North Carolina?

Republicans, African Americans, Women and Seniors Post the Highest Voter Turnout Rates in North Carolina

Read the full release (pdf), which includes  the 2012 Voter Turnout Index.

A new analysis of the 4.5 million ballots cast inNorth Carolinareveals that registered Republicans showed up at higher rates and in larger numbers than in 2008, which contributed to the party’s success in the state in 2012.

Data from the State Board of Elections shows that the number of Democrats who voted actually declined by 53,000 over the four years, even though nearly 200,000 more voters cast ballots in 2012 than in 2008.

On the other hand, when the state’s 6.6 million registered voters are divided into groups by race, gender and party affiliation, the segment with the best performance was African-American female Democrats – the same group that posted the best turnout rate in 2008, when Democrats voted at a slightly higher rate than Republicans and Barack Obama narrowly wonNorth Carolina.

Overall, 68.3% of registered voters cast ballots in 2012 inNorth Carolina, down from the modern turnout record of 69.6% set in the 2008 presidential contest.

Black registered voters turned out at a 70.2% rate, exceeding the rates of 68.6% for whites and 54.3% for Latinos (based on how voters identified their race and ethnicity on their registration forms).

It’s the second presidential election in a row that black voters inNorth Carolinahave outperformed white voters, said Bob Hall of Democracy North Carolina, a nonpartisan voting rights organization. He pointed out that in 2010, when only 44% of registered voters cast a ballot, registered whites outperformed blacks by a 46% to 41% margin; turnout among white Democrats also trailed white Republicans by five percentage points that year.

The 2010 election was one of the rare cases when men outperformed women. In 2012 and 2008, registered women voted at significantly higher rates than men (70% versus 67% in 2012) and because women also register to vote at higher rates, their numbers heavily influence election outcomes, Hall said.

In 2012, the gap between the number of female and male voters exceeded 490,000 out of 4.5 million voters casting ballots (adjusting for voters who don’t mark a gender on the registration form).

Hall said the lowest turnout rates were among young voters (age 18 to 25) and those who don’t choose a party affiliation, reflecting the overall division between voters with strong convictions and those with weak connections to the political process.

“North Carolina has a history of low voter participation that goes back to the Jim Crow era, when the poll tax, literacy test and other tactics told people that politics is for the privileged, the boss man, not for you,” he said. “We’ve made considerable progress and are finally climbing out of the bottom tier of states, but we still have a long way to go to reach the participation levels of many northern states.”

Read the full release (pdf), which includes  the 2012 Voter Turnout Index.

Category: Political News

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