Large turnout looms for election officials

November 3, 2008 10:58:02 AM PST
Election officials are bracing for what could be extraordinary voter turnout tomorrow.

As of Friday, a record 9 million voters were registered in Pennsylvania. That's half a million new registrations just since April.

At the 69th Street Terminal Monday morning, Pa. Governor Rendell encouraged commuters to pack their patience when they head to the polls. He said the state's voting system simply cannot handle the huge numbers expected to turnout tomorrow.

"You're never prepared entirely," Rendell said, "The election machinery wasn't built for 75, 80 percent turnout. So my message to people is: 'Don't get frustrated. There are going to be long lines but that's not necessarily a bad thing. That means democracy is working.'"

Many voters must get to work and worry they'll be met by lines too long. "What if you get there and the lines are long," asked Shawn Butler of West Philadelphia. "I got to get there early before I go to work or I won't vote."

Many commuters told us they are more than ready for election day to finally arrive.

"You get tired of all the commercials, you get tired of the phone calls and people handing you things," Fred Valente of Broomall, Pa. said. "Let's do it now. Let's finish it up." Alexis Marley of Havertown, Pa. told Action News, "This is the first time I will vote. Came back from Harrisburg so I can vote. It's exciting. It is."

In Pennsylvania, more than 50,000 polling place workers, state officials, judges and election observers will be on

They are now under a federal court order to provide paper ballots if at least half of a precincts machines malfunction.


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