I am not a big fan of the Civitas organization, but this vote tracker they have is pretty good if you’re looking for clues on early voting. You can drill things down to the precinct level. Take a look at the top cities – Durham, Asheville, Chapel Hill. The residents of these places are showing what concentrations of motivated voters can do in a statewide race.
Here’s a screencap of what I’m talking about.
Since the only thing that can be tracked is who shows up and votes and not how they actually voted, the clues are in the demographics. Look at the average voting age and you can tell that there is at least some evidence that all those stories about young people not showing up are tripe.
The top precinct is in Durham, natch, around Duke University. The average age of the people who voted there is 23. The Orange County precincts that are turning out big are the same way.
This is backed up by reports around the state about the campuses getting energized over rejecting Amendment 1.
We don’t know that it is enough to counter what will happen Tuesday, May 8 when the rest of the state checks in, but consider that right now Durham (city) plus Chapel Hill is nearly 10 percent of the statewide total. In the 2010 election, Durham and Orange counties combined for about 4.6 percent of the vote statewide.
Trying to gauge this election by any other is going to end up apples to oranges, but this smells like teen spirit. Well, 18-24 spirit.
So pour it on young people. Seize your future or at least knock it out of the hands of the haters.
I really want to wake up on May 9 and write these words:
And they would have gotten away with it, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids.