Voter turnout in Philly hits unprecedented levels

Hadas Kuznits
November 06, 2018 - 10:18 pm

Tim Jimenez-KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Lisa Deeley, city commissioner chair, said they received presidential-level voter turnout for the midterm elections, which she said is unheard of.

"I've been involved in Philadelphia elections for over 30 years, and if anybody would have told me we would have this incredible turnout on such a bad weather day, I would have never believed it," she said. "In spite of the rain, in spite of a major accident that we saw tying up traffic, people made their way to the polls, and they made their way all the way up to 8 o'clock. We didn't see any downtime."

Deeley is thrilled about the civic participation and said nights like this validate her work.

"I'm so proud of Philadelphia," she enthused. "In '06, we saw 43 percent (turnout), and that was fantastic. Anything better than 43 percent is just over the moon."

A Harvard University study estimated that 40 percent of just people under 30 voted — and that's just the millennials.

Acting Secretary of State Robert Torres issued a statement saying polling places across the state carried out with little incident.

There were reports of voting machines malfunctioning in a few counties, but the affected machines were fixed quickly or removed from service.

“Thanks to our well-trained poll workers and well-informed voters, most areas of the state saw only isolated issues,” he said of the more than 9,000 polling places statewide.

The Department of State will not have an estimate of turnout for a few days, according to Torres.

Deeley added that the turnout sends a message to lawmakers that people are more tuned in than they have been before. She hopes infrequent or first-time voters realize the process doesn't take that long and it's worth it.

"Your vote is your voice, and the only person that can go do that is you," she said.