Record N.C. voter rolls might help Dems

Raleigh News & ObserverOctober 1, 2008 

Spurred by heavy registration in big urban counties — particularly among young voters and black people &mash; North Carolina's voter rolls have swelled by more than 600,000 this year to a record 6 million.

"Voter registration has eclipsed all records, no doubt about it," said state elections director Gary Bartlett.

The apparent beneficiaries: Democrats. Analysts say the changes have helped Democrat Barack Obama make the state an unexpected presidential battleground.

"Clearly, the advantage goes to Obama," said Ferrel Guillory, director of the Program on Public Life at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Democrats have an overall edge in registration in this state: 2.7 million to 2 million Republicans. But Republican John McCain's campaign says it's not worried; the state hasn't voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1976.

While North Carolina's registration surge in part reflects the state's growth, the Obama campaign has mounted aggressive registration efforts.

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