Thursday, February 14, 2008

Huge voter registration surge!

After checking NC Board of Elections records how about these numbers. From January 1st through February 11th alone, 64,413 people registered to vote. Elections Director Gary Bartlett says that at least 60% of those are under 40 years old and a huge chunk are in the 18-30 range.

Bartlett says the state has never seen young people represent the largest chunk of new voters. Usually it is the opposite.

Here's how it breaks down...

Democrats - 25,811
Republicans - 18,125
Independents - 20,447

After visiting a couple college campuses today it's clear these new voters are soley registering to vote in the Presidential election.

The question is how could this impact state races like governor? According to at least one candidate it will have no impact.

This morning Bev Perdue said, "I don't think it causes us to rethink anything. All were doing is trying to get our message out there of hope and opportunity out there and building a new north carolina from the mountains to the coast."

Here's another problem in counties across the state. Bartlett says counties are used to and can afford an 18-31% turnout which is typical. He believes turnout will hit 40% or higher without a Presidential primary race that matters. If it does matter, he believes turnout will hit 50% or more. He said it is time for counties to hit the panic button. With a lack of machines or workers that could lead to extremely long lines and frustration at the polls.

Bartlett says the state is working on getting some grants to help out.

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