On National Voter Registration Day, 16,000 Pennsylvanians got on the rolls
Initial estimates show that 16,000 Pennsylvanians registered to vote on National Voter Registration Day, which was Sept. 24.
Nationwide, roughly 400,000 people registered, a number touted by organizers as unprecedented for an off year, when there is neither a presidential nor midterm election. More than 800,000 voters were registered nationally in 2018, a midterm election year.
“We are encouraged by the level of engagement this local election year,” Lindsay Torrico, United Way senior director of policy and advocacy and National Voter Registration Day steering committee member said in a statement. “We are hopeful that this year’s success is a preview of what’s to come in 2020.”
Final numbers are expected by the end of the month.
The estimate is based on the number of online voter registrations reported by state election directors and paper registrations collected by nearly 4,100 community field partners, which includes nonprofit organizations, colleges, veteran groups and others.
Held the fourth Tuesday in September as a “national holiday” since 2012, the initiative is about volunteers and organizations coordinating efforts on a single day to help eligible voters register ahead of state deadlines.
“As much hard work as we have put into this and every holiday, it’s important for citizens to realize there is still time for them to get registered ahead of state and local elections in 2019,” says Andy Berenstein, co-founder and executive director at HeadCount.
Pennsylvania is one of 15 states that cut voter registration off 28 to 30 days before an election. Washington, D.C., and 19 states permit voter registration on Election Day, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The last day to register to vote in Pennsylvania is Oct. 7.
Absentee voters for the first time can register for a ballot online. Absentee ballots for the Nov. 5 election must be received by Nov. 1 at 5 p.m. The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is Oct. 29 by 5 p.m.