PRESS RELEASE from Pennsylvania
Secretary of the Commonwealth
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 3, 2008
|CONTACT: Leslie Amorós
PA VOTER REGISTRATION
SURPASSES 8.75 MILLION, SETS NEW RECORD
HARRISBURG – A record-setting 8,758,031 Pennsylvanians are registered
to vote at one of the state’s more than 9,300 polling places in
tomorrow’s General Election, Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro A.
Cortés said today as he urged those going to the polls to
prepare and vote during off-peak times to avoid long lines.
State Urges Voters to Prepare for Tuesday, Vote During Off-Peak Times
to Avoid Long Lines
The Pennsylvania Department of State estimates that up to 80 percent of
those registered to vote will cast a ballot tomorrow. With such a large
turnout anticipated, Cortés said adequate preparation by voters
and, when possible, going to the polls between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. and
between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. will help ensure a smooth election with
The polls are open between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., but those who are
standing in line at 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote.
“It is exciting to see that so many Pennsylvanians took the first step
in preparing to vote by registering, but I urge them to not make it
their last step,” said Cortés. “The magnitude of these numbers
should emphasize – not eclipse – how important it is for voters to
prepare fully for tomorrow.
“Voters should take time today or before they go to the polls tomorrow
to confirm their registration and learn where their polling place is
located, what kind of voting system they will use, and what they should
carry with them. Voters can find this information, as well as answers
to other frequently asked questions at VotesPA.com.
“Additionally, I encourage those that have some flexibility in their
schedule to vote during off-peak times, or periods when fewer people
typically go to vote. Lines are typically longest before people go to
work in the morning and before they go home in the evening. For
instance, precincts where there are 30-minute lines in the morning
often have no wait at all by 10 a.m.”
The 8,758,031 registered voters for tomorrow’s general election is a
new record for the state. The previous all-time high for registered
Pennsylvania voters prior to a General Election was 8,366,663 in 2004.
Of the current voter registration count, 4,480,691 are registered as
Democrats and 3,243,391 are registered as Republicans.
There were 8,328,123 Pennsylvanians registered to vote in the state’s
primary election on April 22.
In preparation for the 2008 primary and general elections, the
department re-launched its award-winning voter preparedness Web site,
VotesPA.com, in April. In addition to visiting VotesPA.com,
Pennsylvanians may call the department’s toll-free hotline, at
1-877-VOTESPA (868-3772) for answers to their questions.
“Whether you are a first-time voter, a seasoned voter, or a voter with
specific needs or questions, VotesPA.com and our toll-free hotline will
help to ensure you know where to go, what to carry, and what to do in
order to be prepared,” said Cortés.
Cortés added that visiting VotesPA.com will also help correct
myths and misinformation about the voting process, including one of the
most common election-related myths that a driver’s license is the only
approved form of identification for first-time voters.
“State law requires that Pennsylvanians who are voting for the first
time – or for the first time in a new precinct – must present an
approved form of photo or non-photo identification,” Cortés
said. “The variety of approved forms of ID for first-time voters
includes, but is not limited to, a Pennsylvania driver’s license.”
Other forms of approved identification include student or
government-issued identification, as well as firearm permits and
current bank statements or utility bills. A complete list is available
Tomorrow’s election will be the twelfth Cortés has overseen as
the commonwealth’s chief election official.
More information about the Pennsylvania Department of State is
available at www.dos.state.pa.us. For complete voter registration
statistics, click on the voter registration statistics link in the
“Look What’s Hot” box on the right-hand side of the homepage; for
unofficial, real-time election returns, click on the elections returns
graphic on the right-hand side of the homepage.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Additional final voter registration statistics follow
that reflect the period between Jan. 1 and Nov. 3, 2008.
* 8,758,031 total registered voters:
• 4,480,691 registered as Democrats
• 3,243,391 registered as Republicans
NOTE: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Pennsylvania's 2007 voting
age population is 9,646,036.
* 712,925 approved new voter applications were processed since January
• 427,479 registered as Democrats
• 144,118 registered as Republicans
By age, the largest group of registered voters is between 45 and 54
years old: (20 percent, or 1,733,855).
By age, the smallest groups of registered voters are between 65 and 74
years old, and 75+ years old, each with 10 percent.
NOTE: The department does not have statistical breakdowns by race,
gender or religious affiliation. Pennsylvania's current voter
registration form does not require that an applicant provide that