According to the Virginia State Board of Elections, October 2016 has been a busy month in terms of new voter registrations in the Commonwealth, with 131,657 new voters registered last month. Nice work by everyone involved in that effort, including the Clinton campaign, Gov. McAuliffe’s efforts to restore the voting rights of ex-felons, and of course the 90 for 90 folks (founded by Dr. William Ferguson “Fergie” Reid – first black member of the Virginia General Assembly and co-founder of the Richmond Crusade for Voters during the Civil Rights era). A few highlights from the statistics include:
- The most new voters – 18,695 to be exact (14% of the total) – were registered in Fairfax County, which of course is a strongly Democratic-leaning jurisdiction and also Virginia’s largest jurisdiction, with nearly 1.2 million residents.
- Other heavily “blue” jurisdictions which saw large increases in voter registration last month included: Prince William County (7,391), Arlington County (4,700), Richmond City (4,605), Norfolk City (3,796), Newport News City (3,144), Hampton City (3,001) and Alexandria City (2,792).
- Loudoun County, which is a “purple”-trending-“blue” jurisdiction (went for Barack Obama in 2012 and Terry McAuliffe in 2013), had 5,130 new voter registrations in October.
- Henrico County, also trending “blue” (went for both Barack Obama in 2012 and Terry McAuliffe in 2013) saw 4,693 new voters registered.
- Chesterfield County, which is still a fairly “red” county but is changing to a “key battleground” (“While no Democratic presidential nominee has carried Chesterfield since President Harry Truman in 1948, the narrowed GOP margin in the state’s fourth-most-populous county is making it harder for Republicans to counter the Democrats’ advantage in the population centers of Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.”), saw 5,683 new voters registered.
- Virginia Beach City, which leans Republican – but not by a great deal – saw 6,989 new voters registered.
- All told, of the top ten Virginia jurisdictions in terms of new voter registrations in October, five (Fairfax, Prince William, Arlington, Richmond City, Norfolk) are heavily “blue,” three (Loudoun, Henrico, Chesapeake City) are leaning “blue” or “purple,” and two (Chesterfield County and Virginia Beach) trend “red” (although not overwhelmingly by any means).
All in all, it looks like Virginia saw both a large number of new voters registered in October 2016 (for comparison purposes, it appears that around 110k voters were registered in October 2012), and also that many of these new voters were in “blue” or “purple”-trending-“blue” jurisdictions. That, in turn, could bode well for November 8, as long as those newly-registered voters turn out to vote, of course.