Voter registration down in county

BAKERSVILLE – A study conducted by political blogger John Wynne shows Mitchell County has had the state’s largest decrease in the number of registered voters over the past four years.

Wynne wrote a series of blogs on ncpolitics.com this past summer examining the state’s voter registration trends over the past four years. Although North Carolina has had a 5 percent increase in the number of registered voters statewide since 2013 – about 300,000 people – the number of registered voters in Mitchell County decreased by more than 6 percent.

“Unsurprisingly, there’s a strong correlation between growth in registered voters and population growth,” Wynne said. “Some counties – particularly in the west – saw registration growth despite population decline.”

The population decrease in Mitchell County, however, does depict such a drop in the number of registered voters.

“It’s possible aggressive purging of voter rolls could be at play (in Mitchell County,” he said. “Such actions are largely at the discretion of county boards of election.”

Mitchell County Board of Elections Director Roycene Jones said Mitchell County does purge its voter rolls “every so often” but she has not noticed a decrease in the number of people registering to vote.

“We are registering people every day,” she said. “A lot of people registered ahead of this past November’s election and I have seen a lot of younger people registering.”

The North Carolina State Board of Elections currently reports there were 10,892 registered voters in Mitchell County as of Saturday, Nov. 11, a decrease of 674 voters since Nov. 9, 2013.

The MItchell News

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