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Purple Ballot: North Carolina’s history of “ticket splitting”

An election worker prepares an absentee ballot request at the Wake County Board of Elections office in Raleigh on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022.
Jonathon Gruenke
for WUNC
File photo

We’ve been calling our politics series this year “Purple Ballot.” That’s because North Carolina is largely a purple state, a swing state with similar numbers of Democrats, Republicans, and unaffiliated voters.

And our state has an interesting history of “ticket splitting” – the purplest of purple ballots – where a voter selects candidates from opposing political parties. We take a closer look at this interesting trend.


Michael Bitzer, Ph.D., politics department chair, professor of Politics and History, Catawba College

Peter Francia, Ph.D., professor of political science and director of the Center for Survey Research, East Carolina University

Jeff Tiberii is the co-host of WUNC's "Due South." Jeff joined WUNC in 2011. During his 20 years in public radio, he was Morning Edition Host at WFDD and WUNC’s Greensboro Bureau Chief and later, the Capitol Bureau Chief. Jeff has covered state and federal politics, produced the radio documentary “Right Turn,” launched a podcast, and was named North Carolina Radio Reporter of the Year four times.
Erin Keever is the Executive Producer of WUNC’s daily radio show, Due South. Erin comes to WUNC from Charlotte where she spent 16 years at WFAE serving in various roles from on-air announcer, researcher, web editor, to finally senior producer of “Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins.”