Philadelphia election officials expect unusually high turnout for midterms

Pat Loeb
November 02, 2018 - 7:34 pm
Election Day

John Gibbins/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS/Sipa USA


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Preliminary indications are that voter turn-out will be unusually high in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania on Tuesday.  

States with early voting use that as an indicator of likely turn-out, but in Pennsylvania, new registrations and absentee ballots are the harbinger -- and they are way up over the last midterms.

In Philadelphia, registrations since the primary are up three percent with the total number of voters now 1,064,148.

As for absentee ballots, 24 hours before the deadline, the city had received twice the total number it received in 2014.

READ: Election fraud task force, what you should know before casting your vote

Commissioner Al Schmidt says it's unusual because there are no real contested races in the city.

“Normally competition drives turn out and in this case, in Philadelphia, we just don't have that,” he said.

Schmidt says it appears national politics are driving interest, as they do in a presidential year.

He doesn't think turn out will hit the 65 percent it did in 2016, but he thinks it will be larger than the 40 percent in a typical midterm.

“Everything we're seeing is pointing to higher turn-out, closer to 50 (percent),” he added.