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Youth Voter Registration a Concern Amid Pandemic

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Compared to voters who were registered prior to the 2016 general election, newly registered North Carolina voters are more likely to identify as Hispanic or Asian, according to data from the North Carolina Demography Institute. (Adobe Stock)
Compared to voters who were registered prior to the 2016 general election, newly registered North Carolina voters are more likely to identify as Hispanic or Asian, according to data from the North Carolina Demography Institute. (Adobe Stock)
 By Nadia Ramlagan - Producer, Contact
September 22, 2020

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The deadline to register to vote in North Carolina is Friday, October 9, and advocacy groups are racing to get the word out with six weeks left before the November election.

Ricky Leung, communications and outreach director at North Carolina Asian Americans Together, said he's especially worried about young people missing the voter registration deadline. Young voters are still less likely to vote than any other age group.

Leung said the pandemic has stalled voter outreach efforts geared toward young people.

"This year, with a lot of campuses going remote, it's harder to get in touch with a lot of young people," Leung said.

Today is National Voter Registration Day, but Leung said his organization will be hosting virtual events all week long - including a youth phone bank and virtual Q-and-A sessions over Zoom and Instagram live.

More information is available at visit http://ncaatogether.org/NVRD.

According to the State Board of Elections, there currently are more than 7 million registered voters in North Carolina. Leung said traditionally, voter registration among Asian Americans has been lower than the general population.

"What our organization does is translating a lot of voter educational material, sending out mailers to Asian American voters throughout the state, in order to make sure our communities have the information they need to get out the vote," he said.

North Carolinians can register to vote online through the state Department of Motor Vehicles website. Or, residents can go to the State Board of Elections website, print out a voter registration form, and return it by mail.

Residents also have the option to register to vote in person at their local county board of elections office.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.

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