Durham Neighborhood CompassDurham Neighborhood Compass

Primary Election Participation, 2020

COUNTY40%or91,193voters
Choropleth legend 8.9 20.2 30.8 38.9 47.7 65.1

Why This is Important

Not all registered voters vote in a primary election, though in North Carolina they can. In some states, only those affiliated with a party are able to vote for their party's candidates. In North Carolina any registered voter can cast a ballot in a primary.

Typically, many fewer individuals vote in primary elections, and those that do are expressing additional interest in local or partisan issues and policies. As an indicator of engagement this measurement is both a reflection of above-average voting activity, and a reflection of deeper engagement in the political process and its institutions.

About the Data

For 2012, the data included in this measure reflect active voters only. The Board of Elections codes voters 'inactive' when their most recent address may be inaccurate. Due to the potentially inaccurate addresses of inactive voters, this spatial analysis relies only on the active voters. As of January 2014, there were 176,148 active voters out of a total 200,885 registered in Durham County.

For 2020, this metric uses data from a commercial voter database published by L2 Political, and obtained from the Redistricting Data Hub. For 2020, this data was generated using data from the Redistricting Data Hub.

In order to have data which is comparable with commonly-reported voter participation statistics, metric values are scaled so that the total number of registered voters and total number of ballots cast line up with the values reported by the Durham County Board of Elections. So, for example, for the 2012 Presidential General Election, we multiplied our calculated value for number of ballots cast per blockgroup (which only included geocodable addresses) by 1.073 to account for the fact that the Board of Elections final count of ballots cast was 147,497 but the Compass geocoded values only accounted for 137,455 ballots, and we similarly scaled our values for registered voters by 1.21 to account for the fact that we only had valid geocodes of 175,721 voters, where the Board of Elections had 212,654 voters registered.

Sources: Durham County Board of Elections and Redistricting Data Hub

Additional Resources

Resource Learn More and Take Action
NC Board of Elections The Bipartisan State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement (State Board) is the state agency charged with the administration of the elections process, as well as campaign finance, ethics and lobbying disclosure and compliance.
Durham County Board of Elections The Mission of the Durham County Board of Elections is to provide free, open, honest, and professionally managed election services to our community.
Redistricting Data Hub Public source for redistricting data for NC and other states.
Census Tracts Census Blockgroups

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Data Distribution, 2020

County Average: 40%
0%20%40%60%