Nearly half of North Carolina’s registered voters between ages 18 and 25 didn’t bother to cast a ballot in November, according to a new analysis released Thursday.
The advocacy group Democracy North Carolina, which lobbies for voting access, analyzed the state’s election data and found that some demographic groups had far better turnout than others, while overall voter turnout was at 69 percent of registered voters – just 1 percentage point behind the record from 2008.
“The share of Tar Heel citizens who vote has risen dramatically in recent presidential elections, largely because of galvanizing personalities at the top of the ticket and new policies that have made voting easier,” Democracy NC’s Bob Hall said in a news release.
The state’s youngest voters had the worst turnout of the demographic groups in the study. Just 53 percent of registered voters in the 18-to-25 age group cast ballots, down from 55 percent in 2012 and 60 percent in 2008.
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The state’s oldest voters had some of the highest turnout numbers: 78 percent of registered voters age 65 and older participated, a new record.
Women had stronger voter turnout than men in 2016: 70.7 percent of registered female voters participated, compared to 67 percent turnout among male voters.
White voters had the biggest turnout of the racial groups listed, with 71.5 percent turnout compared to 64.3 percent for African-Americans and 57.7 percent for Hispanic registered voters.
“Not surprisingly, turnout among black voters in 2016 fell below the high levels of the Obama elections,” Hall said. “The good news is that it rose above the persistent low levels in the state before Obama, which were often below 60 percent in presidential years. Hopefully, we’ve reached a new plateau and will grow from there – unless new barriers to the ballot are put in place.”
Registered Republicans had stronger turnout than registered Democrats: 75.3 percent for Republicans and 68.5 percent for Democrats. Only 63.1 percent of voters registered as unaffiliated participated in the election.
Read the rest of the analysis here.