CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Female voter registration is surging across the country, and the Supreme Court Overturning Roe v. Wade is singled out as the biggest reason.
Still, things are a little different here in North Carolina. Since the ruling in June, thousands of women have registered to vote in North Carolina, but that data doesn’t look as impressive compared to other recent elections.
There are fewer female registered voters now than there were around the same time in 2018.
But North Carolina has gained over 30,000 new registered voters since the High Court decided on abortion. According to experts, women outperform men in new registration numbers, but not more than they were back in 2018.
Nevertheless, Morgan Jackson, a democratic political consultant, thinks the abortion ruling will make a significant impact in these midterm elections for Democrats.
“Anger is what drives these what drives midterm voters to turn out and a level that is larger than a normal midterm cycle,” Jackson said. “And so what we’ve seen is the Dobbs decision has been transformative in its ability to motivate democrats because Democrats are angry now.”
But the abortion ruling isn’t just fueling more democrats to mobilize; Regan Aduddell, with the Charlotte Mecklenburg League of Women Voters, says she’s seen increased interest in the midterms across the board.
“I think that what this personally has done is made people who may have been complacent, or people who may have felt ‘It doesn’t matter; I’m not going to vote,’ see that maybe it is important for whatever you feel,” Aduddell said. “Whatever your stance, that it is important, that being complacent isn’t necessarily the way to be engaged in the democratic process.”
The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization that helps inform voters about elections by explaining how to register and get to the polls.
Dr. Susan Roberts, with Davidson College, isn’t surprised the Democratic base was mobilized after the Supreme Court’s decision but isn’t sure it will dramatically influence the midterms; if anything, it leveled the playing field for democrats and republicans.
“It’s just a question of, can this issue stay salient for the Democrats? And, and it’s looking as if it might, because I think you have very slow indicators of the economy, of gas prices, that things are not as bad as they look,” Roberts said.
In 2018, nearly 3.7 million women registered to vote, but in 2020, a presidential election year when normally “more” people come out to vote, 73,000 fewer women were registered in North Carolina.
These numbers have bounced back this year, but still not all the way to those 2018 levels.