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Republicans edge past Democrats in Alamance County voter registration

QUESTION: Do registered Republicans outnumber Democrats on Alamance County’s voter rolls?

ANSWER: A century ago, the assertion that “now is the time for all good men to come to aid of the party” was deeply ingrained in the minds of people across the English-speaking world.

Interestingly enough, this statement owed its ubiquity to its appearance in old typing manuals rather than its popularity as a political rallying cry. Yet, its memorability may have been helped along by the fact there truly was a strong sense of partisan loyalty at the time that these early typing primers were in print.

These days, however, allegiance to a particular political party is increasingly a thing of the past. So, it may not come as much of a surprise that voters who identify as either Republicans or Democrats make up an ever-diminishing share of the registered voters in Alamance County.

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Yet, even in this era of general decline in party affiliation, the GOP has, indeed, gained a slight edge over the Democrats, notwithstanding their mutual losses to voters without any declared preference.

The Republican Party’s current numerical advantage, which amounted to 10 voters on Tuesday, is a rather recent phenomenon. It’s so recent, in fact, that there’s no sign of it in the latest monthly report that the Alamance County’s elections office has posted on the demographics of the county’s registered voters.

In that report, which was generated on May 31, Democrats accounted for 36,953 of the 114,238 entries on the county’s voter rolls, while Republicans claimed another 36,788 voters – or 165 fewer than their opponents.   The GOP’s total in this report nevertheless represents a gain of 184 voters from the previous month, whereas for the Democrats, it amounts to a decrease of 25 voters. In both cases, however, the two major parties lost ground to the county’s unaffiliated voters, who grew by 560 individuals to end the month at 39,705.

Since then, the GOP appears to have steadily picked up voters at the expense of their historic rivals on the other side of the aisle.

On June 3, the local elections office ran a precinct-by-precinct report that showed a decrease in registrations for both major parties. The Democrats nevertheless lost slightly more voters, allowing the GOP to narrow the gap to 145.

Then, on June 8, the state board of elections posted updated registration figures that, for the first time, showed Republicans outnumbering Democrats in Alamance County – although by a razor-thin margin of 2 individuals

Over the past few days, the GOP has continued to expand its numerical advantage over the Democrats – as Dawn Hurdle, the county’s elections director, confirmed when she ran the numbers at the behest of The Alamance News on Tuesday.

“As of today, we have 10 more Republicans than we do Democrats,” she told the newspaper that morning. “I had not realized that this had happened until you called. There were right many registration changes after the deadline for the March primary, and we have just been able to process those registration changes.”

Hurdle added that, when she ran the figures on Tuesday, the Democrats had 36,961 voters on the rolls in Alamance County; the Republicans had 36,971; while another 40,111 were unaffiliated with any political party.

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