As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Heavy Turnout

This blog has some good on-the-ground information in the Philadelphia area, and the reports around the state share one thing in common - the turnout is off the charts.

Pennsylvania is on its way to the record turnout that election officials have been predicting for weeks, according to poll workers from across the state.

Election officials were reporting extremely heavy voter activity in many of the state’s 67 counties throughout the morning, starting with long lines reported even before the polls opened at 7 a.m.

“Let’s just say it’s very busy,” said Joseph Passarella, the director of voter services for Montgomery County, sounding a little harried. “Our phones have been ringing since 6:15 this morning and have been ringing nonstop. We’ve never had a primary election this busy.”

Among the phone calls were people who wanted to vote in the primary but had not switched their registration to Democratic in time, Mr. Passarella said. Those people were told that they were not allowed to vote in the Democratic primary.

A slice of that may be the Rush-bots and their Operation Chaos, but really we're seeing a sea change in Pennsylvania. Montgomery and Bucks Counties are now majority Democratic, and elsewhere in the state the energy is very high. A voter group is trying to extend polling hours in Philadelphia. After all the nonsensical events of the past six weeks, I think we've pushed Pennsylvania far into the blue column in November. This is true for Iowa and New Hampshire as well. In the states where there was a real focus on retail campaigning, this extended primary had a huge and undeniable impact. In fact, the lack of one in Michigan and Florida was a good argument to hold new primaries.

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