Female Black Democrats again lead in One Stop-Early voting
As they did during the early days of One Stop-Early Voting in 2008, black Democratic female voters are once again leading the early voting charge in North Carolina.
According to the latest figures available at press time Wednesday from the NC Board of Elections (NCBOE), of the 816,015 absentee ballots cast thus far since Oct. 18th, 51.3 percent are by Democrats; 30.2 percent are Republican, and a significant 18.4% are from unaffiliated voters, who are considered the decisive key if Democrats and Republicans dead heat at the polls on Election Day Nov. 6th.
Of all registered voters, 4,702,559 are white, while 1,473,221 are black. There are 411,912 that are categorized as “other”.
On the first day of One Stop – Early voting alone across the state surpassed the 117,277 on first day of the 2008 early voting, with about 120,000.
Per One Stop -Early voters, NCBOE records as of Oct. 24th show 138,546 ballots cast by African-American female Democrats, compared to just 89,472 white female Democrats; 64,361 white male Democrats, and 81,276 black male Democrats.
Contrast that to One-Stop Early Voters on the GOP side.
Black females – 1,439; white female – 95,433; black males – 1,397; and white males – 91,954.
The strong early voting turnout has resulted in long lines at early voting sites across the state, prompting Gary Bartlett, elections supervisor with the NC Board of Elections to write county BOE’s, asking them to consider implementing longer early voting hours and more days.
“The wait time at some sites is as long as 2 hours. County Boards should take immediate steps to alleviate these delays and facilitate a more efficient voting process for North Carolina voters,” Bartlett wrote to all 100 county BOE’s.
So far, no indication that any will comply.
Leaders with state Democratic Party and Obama campaign are delighted with the turnout numbers thus far.
“We are pleased with the turnout so far but we have a long way to go,” said Walton Robinson, communications director with the NC Democratic Party. “This will be a close election so the success of these efforts gives us confidence that President Obama and Democrats up and down the ticket will be victorious in November but we intend to continue calling and knocking doors to get as many voters to the polls early as we can.”
Robinson pointed to several indicators showing strong Democratic response:
- Youth (18-24) turnout is up 20 percent from 2008
- African-American turnout is up 30 percent from 2008
- Democratic turnout is up 15 percent from 2008
Obama Campaign Manager Jim Messina told reporters this week that the Tar Heel State is still “absolutely in play,” despite widespread reports that have already placed North Carolina in Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s win column.
Campaign advisor David Axelrod echoed Messina.
“We are doubling down, we are not pulling back at all,” Axelrod told reporters this week. “Anybody who thinks [North Carolina is] in the bag (for Republican challenger Mitt Romney) are half in the bag themselves.”
The campaign still touts its ground game, fueled by 54 field offices across the state, compared to just 22 for the Romney campaign, to ensure voter turnout. That strategy, coupled with a strong voter registration drive, was credited with Obama winning North Carolina by just 14,000 votes in 2008.
The president has not come to campaign to North Carolina since the Democratic National Convention during the first week in September. However, both First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice Pres. Joe Biden have campaigned in the state twice since then.