Preparing for voter turnout in Pa 'burbs

November 3, 2008 5:46:01 PM PST
There are expectations that the voter turnout in the Philadelphia suburbs could be enormous. In fact, voter registration rates across the state have been breaking records.

Even Governor Rendell says making your voice heard tomorrow may be a little difficult.

"The election machinery in this state wasn't built for a 75% to 85% turnout, there aren't enough people at the polls, etc.," Gov. Rendell said. "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."

Also working are the employees and volunteers for voter services across the Delaware Valley.

"We are as prepared as we can be for tomorrow," said Joseph Passarella of Montgomery County Voter Services. "Today is mostly answering phone calls, a lot of people calling to see if they're registered."

"We have rented 80 additional machines, and we will have more than 100 extra machines out in this election," said Deena Dean, Director of the Bucks County Board of Elections.

Meantime, in Chester County, home of the largest paper ballot system in the state, election officials have ordered nearly 350,000 ballots, just in case.

But some voters Action News spoke to say they're not concerned about long lines.

"I'm in upper Bucks County, it's pretty rural, so there may be about six people ahead of you, so that doesn't really apply to me," said Paul Cooper of Ottsville, Pa.

Others say the length of the lines pale in comparison to the weight of the vote.

"Every vote is important, and it's the most important decision you're going to make in four years," said Ashley Pizzi of Buckingham Twp. "Nothing could turn me away from voting."

Election officials say people who try to vote early in national elections are often disappointed, because lines start forming before the polls even open. The best time to vote is between the late morning and early afternoon when crowds are generally smaller.


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