New data shows NC women are voting more, despite declining female representation

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) With 10 weeks left until election day, new research finds that North Carolina women are voting at a higher rate.

Meanwhile, representation in elected offices is declining. North Carolina received a grade of “D” when it comes to women’s political participation.

Inside the 2020 Status of Women in NC: Political Participation Report, the data looks at the past five years. It breaks down women’s involvement in the political process while comparing it to other states.

Some of the key findings include:

  • North Carolina has only had one woman elected as Governor.
  • Currently, there are no women representing North Carolina in the U.S. Senate.
  • Women representing our state in the U.S. House of Representatives has decreased in the past five years. It went from about 23% to around 15%.

9 On Your Side spoke with a Pitt County voter who says representation in our elected officials is not only nice to see, but it’s what will help progress our communities. While in this case uplifting and empowering women.

“It’s progressive to see women in places of leadership and representation in order to speak to those issues. They are going to be thinking about things that men typically don’t have to. Men aren’t typically thinking about out, their not having experiences in,” said Tonya Jefferson-Lynch, Pitt County Resident and Registered Voter.

The same survey finds that women in our state are showing up more often to the polls actually slightly more likely than other states to vote.

When compared to neighboring states like Tennessee and South Carolina.

North Carolina women had a higher voter turn out in recent elections, lower than women voters in Virginia.

Lynch feels this is a time where women are taking charge and making sure government leaders are listening.

“Women are kicking butt Women are saying listen I believe. This is what I support. Again this is what I believe is best for my family. Keep doing what you’re doing and keep educating our future generations,” said Lynch.

When looking at the 2016 election 62% of women voters here in the state cast a ballot. Nationally it was at 59%.

Surveyors report one way to increase women’s participation is to expand resources that support a woman’s involvement in the political process at all levels.

The NC Council for Women & Youth Involvement in partnership with the Institute for Women’s Policy compiled the data for the report. For the full report click HERE.

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