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New citizens could become important NC voting bloc

About 5.2 million new U.S. citizens are potential voters for the midterm elections.
About 5.2 million new U.S. citizens are potential voters for the midterm elections.

This story was produced through a collaboration between WFAE and La Noticia. You can read it in Spanishat La Noticia. Puedes leer la nota en españolen La Noticia.

Newly naturalized U.S. citizens could play an important role in swing states during the midterm elections. A new study found North Carolina among the top states where this voter bloc could have a political impact.

An estimated 5.2 million potential new voters were naturalized nationwide since 2016, according to a study by the National Partnership for New Americans.

This multicultural, multiethnic group has the potential to sway the midterm elections, the study says. In North Carolina, an estimated 94,000 potential new voters became U.S. citizens.

That’s 20,000 more voters than former President Donald Trump won the state by in 2020 and just 1,000 less than Sen. Thom Tillis won by in the same election.

The question is whether these new American citizens will come out to vote. The study found voter turnout among naturalized citizens to be about 9% lower than turnout by native-born voters over the past 20 years.

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Kayla Young is a Report for America corps member covering issues involving race, equity, and immigration for WFAE and La Noticia, an independent Spanish-language news organization based in Charlotte. Major support for WFAE's Race & Equity Team comes from Novant Health and Wells Fargo.