Voter Registration Changes: 2000 to 2008


Between April 2000 and July 12, 2008, the overall number of registered voters in North Carolina increased from 4.93 million to 5.84 million, an increase of 18.5 percent. This net increase is the result of new registration and the purging of no longer valid registrations from the voter rolls. In 2000, Democrats made up 51 percent of registration statewide, Republicans made up 34 percent, and Unaffiliated and Libertarian voters together comprised 15 percent. By July 2008, those figures had changed to 45 percent Democrat, 33 percent Republican, and 22 percent Unaffiliated/Other.

Net Democratic registration increased by approximately 152,900 voters, an increase of 6.1 percent, and this increase was spread unevenly across the state. The number of registered Democrats decreased in 63 counties. In only three counties – Mecklenburg, Onslow and Wake – did Democratic registration outpace overall voter registration, with increases of 31.5, 19.8, and 31.2 percent respectively.

Net Republican registration increased by approximately 264,000 voters, an increase of 15.8 percent; this increase was also spread unevenly across the state. The number of registered Republicans decreased in 10 counties. Republican registration outpaced overall voter registration in 42 counties, with increases ranging from 19 percent to 108 percent.

Net other registration (Unaffiliated and Libertarian) increased by approximately 481,100 voters, an increase of 65.1 percent. (The Libertarian party regained its official status in late May; as of July 12 there were 209 Libertarians registered statewide.)  The number of Unaffiliated/Other voters increased in all 100 counties, and in fact outpaced overall voter registration in all 100 counties. Net Unaffiliated/Other registration increased at least four times as much as overall voter registration in nearly half the state’s counties.

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