Outside the Box


N.C. Budget Director's Tweet doesn't add up

Posted November 22, 2016

Gov. Pat McCrory, right, and budget director Drew Heath discuss McCrory's proposed 2016-17 state budget at an April 22, 2016, news conference.

Andrew Heath, North Carolina's budget director, is Gov. Pat McCrory’s numbers guy. But, if his latest tweet is any indication, the next time he makes any pronouncements about the state budget, revenues or spending, the governor and the rest of North Carolina might want to double check the math.

On Sunday, Heath a devoted Republican, entered the fray over unsubstantiated allegations of voting irregularities in Durham County. He tweeted out: “Heard” that Durham County had a voting age population of 231,000 but that there are 232,000 registered voters.

Not only was he wrong – by a lot on both voting age population and registered voters – but the agency he runs keeps detailed population information on its website. In just a couple of mouse clicks he could have found detailed population breakdowns and then gone to a site that gave detailed population figures for each county in the state, by age range. Simple addition shows the voting-age population of Durham is 228,208. A check of the Durham County Board of Elections would reveal there are 193,659 active registered voters. So, he was off by 2,792 on the population and 38,000 on registered voters. The figure for registered voters that Heath used, includes "inactive" voters, those who have not voted at all through at least two federal election cycles (at least four years).

Perhaps Heath’s calculator needs new batteries?


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