Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)


Public Policy and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Mark Davis, PhD

Committee Member

Angela Kline, PhD

Committee Member

Michelle Wade, PhD


North Carolina has been the subject of controversy surrounding voting rights for many years. Those controversies include voting ID laws, voter intimidation at the polls, and systematic changes to early voting times, dates, and locations. The North Carolina General Assembly has been accused of gerrymandering the district maps to dilute the vote of Democrats and people of color. This study looks at how registered voters in North Carolina perceive their access to voting despite the controversies. Two hypotheses were tested: those in North Carolina who were people of color or of lower socio-economic standing would feel they have a higher barrier of access to voting than those who are White or have a higher socio-economic standing. A survey was sent to registered voters across the state to test this hypothesis, and follow-up interviews were conducted to support the survey results. Overall, the results showed that the voters positively perceive voting in the state, even those directly denied voting rights. A consensus of the study is that gerrymandering is a problem, but the perception that voting is essential and that they have easy access to it still needs to be changed.