Last week’s election marked the second-lowest turnout for a gubernatorial race in Philadelphia since statistics have been taken by the City Commissioner’s Office in 1942, with about a 36.7 percent voter participation-rate in the city.
Unofficial voting numbers released by the City Commissioner’s office show that roughly 378,000 people out of a possible 1,024,362 registered voters in the Philadelphia area voted in the Nov. 4 elections. These numbers are with 98.28 percent of precincts reporting their voting statistics.
“We expect to count about 3,500 absentee ballots,” City Commissioner Stephanie Singer said. She said she was unsure of the number of provisional ballots to be cast.
With a 2013 population estimate of 1,553,165 according to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 25 percent of Philadelphians voted last Tuesday. Only two-thirds of the population is registered to vote.
The only lower turnout in the city was 34 percent in 1998’s gubernatorial election, where incumbent Republican Tom Ridge won 57 percent of the vote against Democrat candidate Ivan Itkin, who took 31 percent.
This number is a significant decline from past elections for Philadelphia. The 2012 presidential election garnered a 66 percent turnout in Philadelphia, while the 2010 gubernatorial election amounted to a 41 percent turnout.
Tuesday’s election was a landslide victory for Democratic candidates in Philadelphia. Gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf took 88 percent of the Philadelphia vote to Republican incumbent Tom Corbett’s 12 percent share. Philadelphia’s incumbent Congressional representatives, Bob Brady and Chaka Fattah also won with large margins of victory, winning with 85 and 91 percent of the vote in Philadelphia respectively for their districts. Just a day after the election, multiple media outlets reported that Tom Lindenfeld, one of Fattah’s political advisors to his 2007 Philadelphia mayoral campaign, had pled guilty to federal offenses related to wire fraud.
According to a report released by the City Commissioner’s office, Philadelphia’s voter-base is also overwhelmingly registered Democrat, with roughly 803,000 of registered voters belonging to the party in 2012.
The 20th ward is bordered by Broad Street to the west, Sixth Street to the east, Susquehanna Avenue to the north and Master Street to the south, and encompasses most of Main Campus. In the 20th Ward, 1,972 people voted.
The 20th Ward also voted heavily Democratic, with Wolf receiving 97 percent of the vote in the governor’s race, and both Brady and Fattah winning by large margins around Temple. W. Curtis Thomas, who represents the 181st district which covers the 20th Ward in the city, ran unopposed and only garnered one write-in vote in opposition to him.
Christian Matozzo can be reached at email@example.com