PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Voters are coming out in droves to casts their ballots this Election Day. The voter turnout in Philadelphia is proving to be on trend with the rest of the country as over 450,000 Philadelphians are expected to cast a ballot.
“As far as we can tell, it’s pretty heavy,” said David Thornburgh, the president of the Committee of Seventy. “This, despite the fact that we had a torrential downpour earlier this morning.”
The Committee of Seventy says that Philadelphia is on pace to beat voter turnout in the 2014 midterm elections and possibly match, or come close to, turnout in the 2016 presidential election.
“Polls opened at 7 this morning. We had a line from much much 7 o’clock to about 10 a.m. It’s stretched out the door. We had about 150 voters come in just in that first three-hour period,” said Judge of Election Colin Saltry.
Ward 18, District 9 is one of the wards expected to end the day with a 50 percent voter turnout rate.
“That is pretty extraordinary. Typically, we think of local elections somewhere in the 20 percent turnout rate, midterms somewhere in the 40s and presidential somewhere in the 60s, so this might bump close to the 50 percent,” said Thornburgh.
Voters weren’t shy to talk about how important it was for them to come out and vote and why.
“I took the day off because I was stuck in D.C. two years ago and over the last 20 years, I realized it was really important to vote now more than ever,” said Gerald Drummond, of South Philadelphia.
“I think it’s absolutely important that we all get out here,” said Kelly Ann Messick, of Northern Liberties.
It’s projected that voter turnout will hit just over 450,000 people in Philadelphia, making this potentially the highest turnout for a midterm since 2002.