UNC graduate Gerry Cohen said he has been keeping track of voter registration numbers in Orange County for years.
Based on statistics released by the North Carolina State Board of Elections, Cohen said he has tracked this year’s new voter registration numbers and found them to be unusually high.
“This year, there has been over 1,400 new voter registrations from ages 17 to 25 in the five dorm precincts of Mason Farm, Country Club, Greenwood, Lincoln and East Franklin,” Cohen said. “This is exceptionally high for registrations.”
Cohen said this year’s surge might be attributed to candidates like Bernie Sanders or pushback from Democratic voters over voter ID laws.
UNC junior and president of UNC College Republicans Frank Pray said his organization has been encouraging all of its members to register to vote in Orange County, especially if they come from strong, Republican home districts, because their votes are needed more in Orange County — a traditionally Democratic district.
While Pray said he has not noticed any unusual increases in voter registrations among College Republicans members this year, he said the Orange County Republican Party as a whole has noticed a greater number of voter registrations in rural areas of the county.
“Throughout Orange County, we have seen more people coming out to vote, especially from rural areas of the county, like the outskirts of Hillsborough,” Pray said.
Pray said College Republicans often tries to encourage its own ranks to vote first when trying to increase voter registration throughout campus.