In light of the current court case challenging changes to NC elections laws, we take a look back at the Center's work on increasting voter participation in North Carolina.
The Center first published research on ways to increase voter turnout in 1991. In 1988, our state was 48th in turnout among the 50 states in the U.S. In the 1990s, the General Assembly enacted several of the Center’s recommendations to improve the voting and elections process, and by 2000, N.C. had moved up to rank 37th in voter participation.
In 2003, the Center published a second study with research on what states with higher voter turnouts did that North Carolina didn’t do. At that time, we recommended improving early voting and instituting same-day registration within the early voting period, and the General Assembly enacted those changes in 2007. By 2008, we ranked 22nd in voter turnout, and 11th by 2012. North Carolina also had the biggest percentage increase of voter turnout of any state in the country from 2004 to 2008.
These measures were based on solid research on other states’ laws that increased voter participation and were passed by the General Assembly.
NC Insight article: Improving Voter Participation and Accuracy in North Carolina's Elections
1991 Full Issue of NC Insight: Voting in NC - Can We Make It Easier?
2003 Full Issue of NC Insight: Voting and Civic Participation
NC Voter Turnout Table