Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Record Turnout in Pennsylvania

The Caucus reports that Pennsylvania's on its way to record levels of voter turnout for state's primary today:

Pennsylvania is on its way to the record turnout that election officials have been predicting for weeks, according to poll workers from across the state.

Election officials were reporting extremely heavy voter activity in many of the state’s 67 counties throughout the morning, starting with long lines reported even before the polls opened at 7 a.m.

“Let’s just say it’s very busy,” said Joseph Passarella, the director of voter services for Montgomery County, sounding a little harried. “Our phones have been ringing since 6:15 this morning and have been ringing nonstop. We’ve never had a primary election this busy.”

Among the phone calls were people who wanted to vote in the primary but had not switched their registration to Democratic in time, Mr. Passarella said. Those people were told that they were not allowed to vote in the Democratic primary.

In Beaver County, in the western portion of the state, turnout appeared even higher than the county officials had anticipated.

“We’re just overwhelmed,” said Geri Shuits, a polling clerk in Beaver County. “I’ve gotten so many phone calls, I just can’t keep up.”
At one polling station, the number of voters they’ve had was already as high as by the end of the night last year, she added, referring to the November 2007 municipal election.

In Philadelphia, turnout is reportedly “very heavy,” said Abe Amoros, the executive director of the state Democratic Party. In the counties surrounding Philadelphia, including Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery and Chester, most polling stations have reported long lines.

The Democratic primary election in 2004 saw a 26 percent turnout, but this year promises to be much higher, Mr. Amoros said.
I imagine expectations of high turnout will be met, but remember, turnout numbers can be inaccurate depending how voter participation is measured.

See, "
The Truth on Voter Turnout?"