Pa. voter registration numbers at an all-time high, officials say

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — In Pennsylvania, voter registration numbers are ticking up. Mail-in ballot requests are rising as well, which could cause Election Day results to be misleading.

More than 8.9 million Pennsylvanians are registered to vote — 50,000 more registrations since this time last week. With 2.4 million mail-in ballots requested — 1.6 million are Democrats, 600,00 are Republicans and 250,000 or so are other — 95% of those are already on the way to voters.

“We think our voter registration may be at an all-time high,” said Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar.

Boockvar addressed the press in her weekly update Zoom call, saying the state has seen more changes this year to the election process than in 80 years, with new laws, expanded voter access, new voting machines and in-person safety protocols because of the pandemic.

So the department is providing extra support.

“We’ve increased our staff and increased our funding to the counties and on behalf of the counties,” she explained.

She said 92,742 mail-in ballots have already been cast as of Wednesday, and all turned in ballots will be kept secured by individual counties.

With the number of mail-in ballots requested, Boockvar said the vote count on Election Day may not provide the full picture.

“The overwhelming majority of ballots cast in person and by mail will be counted in a matter of days, not a matter of weeks,” she said.

She said counties have agreed that beginning on Election Day, they’ll count ballots 24 hours a day, seven days a week until every ballot is counted.

“I know counties are doing everything they can, first and foremost, to count ballots accurately,” she emphasized.

As for in-person voting, Boockvar noted there will be more polling places open on Election Day and more than 51,000 people have volunteered to be poll workers. The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 19.