By Pat Loeb


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia’s elected officials are getting more concerned about the possibility that a SEPTA strike could suppress election turnout.

On Thursday, city council passed a resolution urging both sides to resolve the contract quickly.

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Philadelphia is crucial to a democratic victory in Pennsylvania, so anything that keeps Philadelphians from getting to the polls could have an impact well beyond the city. And Councilman Darrell Clarke says a SEPTA strike would do just that:

“If you know the voting patterns in the city, there’s an early morning rush and then after 5:00, so it will be significant and that’s why we’re all hoping this does not happen.”

The resolution doesn’t take sides. It urges management and labor to avert a strike.

“We’ve always had difficulty, on a good day, to be able to have enough support to move people to polling places,” adds Clarke, “so if there is not public transportation we will clearly have a problem.”

Clarke says council isn’t getting directly involved in talks since he says several officials — including democratic city committee chair, Congressman Bob Brady — are already intervening.

The current contract expires one week before the election.