The race to the White House is heating up as the pivotal Iowa Caucus looms less than a week away.

Historically, the Iowa Caucus has been a crucial barometer for gauging the viability of presidential candidates, often propelling winners into the national spotlight and significantly influencing primaries in other early primary states like New Hampshire and Nevada. 

Though North Carolina is set to cast our primary votes in March, the electoral process is already underway. Starting on January 19th, county election boards will start sending out absentee ballots to those who have requested them. 

Dr. Andy Jackson of Locke’s Civitas Center for Public Integrity recently analyzed voter registration trends in an insightful article. His findings indicate a notable decline in Democrat Party registrations, suggesting that Republicans will surpass them by 2027. 

This year, there are twenty-two offices on the ballot in North Carolina. The latest data from the North Carolina State Board of Elections (SBE) reveals an increase in total voter registrations from 7,195,641 to 7,393,190 in the last two years. 

A key aspect to observe is the significant rise in unaffiliated voter registrations. Dr. Jackson highlights this trend in his article, noting an increase of 872,274 in the past decade, surpassing Republicans in 2017 and Democrats in 2022. 

This heightened interest in the electoral process among North Carolinians is a positive sign. It suggests a populace that is not only more informed but also more eager to participate in the democratic process.  

Although unaffiliated voters typically have lower turnout rates compared to major party affiliates, the rise in their numbers brings hope for increased voter participation in the upcoming elections. 

As the focus shifts to Iowa and other early primary states, the evolving voter demographics here in North Carolina will undoubtedly attract national attention.  

As we look towards the primary in March, North Carolinians are actively requesting absentee ballots.  

For those who are new to North Carolina, as I am, the deadline to register for the March primary is February 9th, just a month away. You can click here to learn more. 

I also encourage you to take a moment to verify your voter registration status to ensure it’s current and that you are eligible to vote on March 5th

The electoral process stands as both a cherished privilege and a fundamental civic duty, pivotal in upholding a government that genuinely mirrors the will and voice of the American people.