About that 'record' turnout

Posted November 5, 2014

Tom Bradshaw, a Democratic candidate for state Senate, spent Tuesday morning greeting voters outside the senior center at Millbrook Exchange Park.

— As election night wore on Tuesday, North Carolina's State Board of Elections sent out a news release heralding "record" voter participation for a midterm.

With virtually all of the votes counted, 2.9 million voters cast ballots during early voting or on Election Day. In 2010, turnout was 2.7 million voters. 

Elections Director Kim Strach said she was pleased that voters made "such a strong statement for the democratic process, increasing early participation by over 20 percent and besting the state’s prior midterm record."

That number could use some perspective, though. 

There are 6.6 million registered voters in the state, which means 2.9 million votes casts is 44 percent turnout. That means that, after a race that cost a minimum of $111 million, more than half of those eligible to vote sat on their hands. 

Forty-four percent is the same percentage of voters who turned out in 2010 when Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr was on his way to a blowout victory over Democratic Secretary of State Elaine Marshall. 

Since 1974, there have been six midterm elections – 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990 and 2002 – where there has been a higher percentage turnout of those registered to vote. 

So yes, it is a record in terms of raw numbers. But in terms of percentage participation, Tuesday night was pretty middling. 

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Source: N.C. State Board of Elections


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  • thewatchman Nov 6, 2014

    Democrats out number Republicans in NC by more than 3/4 of a million people. Why does WRAL do everything it can to diminish the voice of conservative voters? It is the same old rhetoric we heard about the same sex vote. about the number of people who voted and who didn't vote. Obama was crying in his milk yesterday about the number of people who didn't vote. We won. That is the bottom line. I suppose the liberal crowd will try to find a judge some where to overturn the vote since it did go the way they liked it.

  • lec02572 Nov 6, 2014

    Maybe there was a reason most did not vote in NC. It could be they disapprove of both parties, but since there are more democarats in NC than republicans it could be that even the democrats were tired of Obama and his policies. Yea, Obama was not up for election, but his policies were as stated by Obama. Guess the magic is gone.

  • ncsugrad Nov 5, 2014

    The Voter ID cards were not required at this election and the democrats still lost. What will be the excuse next time? Voter ID cards at the NCDMV are FREE. The ID requirements to obtain one is not as limited as the requirements for a regular ID. The DMV is drastically lowering their standards for identity proof (put in place to prevent fraud) to issue these Voter ID cards. I just don't understand how that requirement will stop the honest citizens from casting their votes.

  • I Have a Discernible Chin Nov 5, 2014

    View quoted thread

    I think everyone is fed up. The question is "what do we do about it?".

  • Hecate Nov 5, 2014

    Can't wait for 2106... bring on the voter IDs ...

  • sinenomine Nov 5, 2014

    So the Republican legislature didn't suppress the vote that much after all, eh? Everybody who wanted to vote seems to have done so.

  • Rhonda Arthur Nov 5, 2014
    user avatar

    Anything to diminish a Republican win. Same old WRAL.

  • starshield Nov 5, 2014

    The liberal spin already? The only vote that will be suppressed will be the double voters and dead voters.

  • glarg Nov 5, 2014

    View quoted thread

    The big question is who do the Democrats even run next cycle?

    Alligning themselves with the quasi-Socialist national party of Pelosi/Obama has been a disaster (see the retched refuse of the Dem Congressional delegation).

    But do the Dems even have someone who they could run that would have a chance at coming off as a Moderate? Roy Cooper is the only person I could think of.

  • Kaitlyn Legare Nov 5, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    I'm happy with that color.