Election Day: Voters, candidates hit the polls early in Philadelphia

Tim Jimenez
May 21, 2019 - 11:07 am

Tim Jimenez/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The polls are open until 8 p.m. in Pennsylvania. Voters started to cast their ballots at 7 a.m. this morning.

Among the first to vote at Add B. Anderson School was one of the three Democratic candidates for mayor, Pennsylvania state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams.

He’s hoping there will be a strong turnout throughout Philadelphia Tuesday.

“Certainly I would like to have them turn out in record numbers to support me,” he said. “But hopefully somebody waking up will realize today is Election Day. Selection Day, Correction Day. And come out and vote and cast their vote in a way they think helps Philadelphia move forward.”

Voter Adrian says he’s trying to motivate his family members to get out on this non-presidential election year, because of how important local politics is to everyday life.

“Taxes, gentrification, changes on how your property assessments are being done,” he said.

Adrian added that’s the great thing about democracy, we all have a say.

Moving over to Old City, at the Painted Bride Art Center. At around 9:50 a.m. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney walked in. He shook hands, stood in line, and then cast his ballot before he was whisked away.

Voter, Barbara Jackson, didn’t mind talking for the mayor.

“He’s doing a good job and he needs support,” she said.

What she does want to see, as a former educator, is for whoever is elected to focus on schools and giving young people all the opportunities to succeed.

“Not just learn to use the computer, but how to program the computer," she explained. "So they can be entrepreneurs and that’s what I want to see, that’s my issue.”

As the day went on it had been slow but steady at Bright Hope Baptist Church, where Temple Students and seasoned saints had been casting their ballots side-by-side.

Reporter: How's today going?

“Fantastic, because we are not really running around,” poll worker Betty Johnson explained.

She says by 11a.m.they were only on number 60, which is more than a dozen voters lower than average numbers for a local primary. The only difference this year, voters came armed with hand written notes ready to tackle the crowded ballot.

"It was a bit busy, but I took my time," Brenda Sekou said proudly.

She says she was number 16 when she voted early this morning alongside her mother, daughter, and granddaughter.

Fellow voter Shawn was also headed in the polls with a game plan for choosing five of the 29 Democratic candidates for City Council at-large and six of nearly dozen running for Court of Common pleas.

"I am going to sit there and what until my time, and then I am going to vote," he said.

Voter turnout in the 2018 primary was less than 20% citywide.

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KYW Newsradio's Cherri Gregg contributed to this report.