TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Low turnout expected in Tuesday's primary

Daily Photo Galleries

Monday, May 20, 2013, 8:03 a.m.
 

About 8,500,000 residents in the commonwealth are registered to vote, yet only a fraction of them are expected to turn out to cast their ballots in Tuesday's primary election, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State.

“It's traditionally a lower turnout,” Westmoreland County Election Bureau Director James Montini said of the primary election. “The primary held right after a presidential race for some reason is usually always the lowest in numbers.”

Montini said that only about a quarter of registered voters will hit the polls on Tuesday.

“I expect low 20s, 25 percent at the very highest,” Montini said of the turnout percentage. “That will be about all we see.”

Larry Blosser, director of the Fayette County Election Bureau, agreed that the turnout likely will not be a record high.

“I think that it's going to be on the lower side,” Blosser said, adding that the turnout for a primary race is sometimes dependent on the races and any issues at stake. “You'll have certain people coming out to support their candidates or support a certain candidate's platform.”

Turnout is also dependent upon the interest in the race, he said.

“We have a few highly contested races this primary, especially for the two open judge seats,” Blosser said. “The race for magistrate will also bring in some interest.”

Neither county reported a very high increase in new voter registration or in voters seeking to change their party affiliation.

“Actually it's been pretty quiet,” Montini said.

Even though the law has not yet been passed that requires all voters to provide photo identification, the state is still requiring election workers to ask.

”We are still required to ask if the voter has ID,” Blosser said. “The state requires that we still at least ask that. If you don't have photo ID, then the poll workers will ask if you want a handout that explains how to go about getting a photo ID. You aren't required to take the handout, but we are required to ask if they want one if they do not have a photo ID. The handout explains how they go about getting one if they need it; so if the law passes, then they can't say they didn't know.”

Although there is always a push to get voters to cast their ballots, weather, work and schedule demands remain big factors in getting people out to vote.

“You always want to encourage people to go out and vote, but there are always reasons why many can't and don't,” Montini said.

The voting site for Dunbar Borough has changed from the fire station to the fire hall next door.

Polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Allegheny

  1. Penn Hills water main break creates car-swallowing sinkhole
  2. Pittsburgh to consider measure to give city employees 6 weeks of paid parental leave
  3. Pipelines key to growth in shale industry
  4. Pittsburgh City Council unanimous in opposition to bill that would change how Pa. defines tax-exempt status
  5. Aging weather satellite may be leaving forecasters with a large blind spot
  6. NTSB: Better oversight needed to prevent natural gas pipeline accidents
  7. Mt. Lebanon awaits Pennsylvania Game Commission approval to corral, kill deer
  8. Owner of Italian Village Pizza stores in Western Pennsylvania gets house arrest for tax evasion
  9. 3-D images to help police in Western Pa. navigate terror, hostage scenes
  10. Allegheny County assistant public defender Capone charged with lying to court staff
  11. Mt. Lebanon High School to sell its planetarium equipment