Increased voter engagement in 2018 primary
May 8, 2018
League of Women Voters of North Carolina officials say they have seen an increase in voter engagement in the 2018 primary compared to previous midterm primaries. The League says their own election information site, www.VOTE411.org has seen a record number of users in the state for a non-presidential election year.
“Certainly a big part of that is the fact that VOTE411.org is a bigger brand now than it was in previous years,” said League of Women Voters of North Carolina Vice President Beth Springston. “In just the past week, we’ve had more visitors than in all of 2012, which was our first year. The site is better established, so people know it’s a place where they can go to find nonpartisan information; however, we know from talking to voters that things are just different in 2018. There’s more enthusiasm and a sense that every election is important.”
In the last midterm election year in 2014, VOTE411.org received a total of 8,884 users during the entire year (primary and general elections). The site has already surpassed that mark this year with over 14,000 visitors. VOTE411.org includes candidate questionnaires, customized ballots for voters, and polling locations. League officials say the site is designed to be a one-stop shop for nonpartisan election information.
League officials say they expect this increased web traffic to translate into higher voter turnout. While final statistics will be available after Election Day, League of Women Voters of North Carolina Co-president Janet Hoy says they expect overall voter turnout to surpass recent midterm primaries.
“There’s a palpable sense among voters and candidates that the stakes are higher now in 2018 than they have been in previous years,” said Hoy. “Obviously an off-year primary is not going to see comparable voter turnout to the 2016 general election, but we would expect a slight increase compared to midterm primaries from recent memory given the enthusiasm among some voter groups.”
League officials say they expect women and millennials to turn out in higher numbers than usual.
“We know that young people tend to vote at lower rates than older generations, particularly during primary elections,” said Hoy. “However, with everything that’s going on right now with Parkland and student activism around gun control on high school and college campuses, we expect that to translate into participation.”
“Furthermore, women everywhere have been more vocal since the 2016 general election,” said Hoy. “Aside from the women’s marches in cities across the state, we’re seeing a lot more women participate in our democracy by running for office. We expect them to turn out to vote as well.”
League officials say that VOTE411.org web traffic is mainly coming from more populous areas of the state, but that rural areas are represented as well.
“Unsurprisingly, most VOTE411.org users are residents of the larger counties like Mecklenburg, Wake, Buncombe, Guilford and Durham,” said Springston. “We have seen users from all 100 counties, however.”
Visit www.VOTE411.org for more information.
About the League of Women Voters: The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. For additional information, please visitwww.lwv.org or www.lwvnc.org. Like VOTE411 on Facebook – or follow us on Twitter: @VOTE411.