PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Monday is the last day to register to vote in Pennsylvania. The battleground state has been breaking records in voter registration with nine million registrations so far.
A worker with the elections office at City Hall said it was a five-and-a-half-hour wait Monday. That signals some energy on the ground for the upcoming election.
The scene on City Hall’s south side is a convincing argument, energy in the electoral process is historic.
Pennsylvania reports nine million people are registered to vote, shattering a record.
“It’s amazing that people are together, it’s so many people out here. It’s just never happened before,” South Philadelphia resident Robin Cole said.
A last-minute rush for voter registration in Pennsylvania swamped the line snaking into the county board of elections office.
“I never got the mail-in ballot that I was supposed to get so I thought I’d come over here today and get this over with,” voter George Nista said. “Sooner or later I’m gonna end up standing in line, I guess.”
Experts say for Joe Biden to best President Donald Trump in all of Pennsylvania voters must mobilize and turn out in Democratic strongholds like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and their suburban counties.
The optics of long lines and hours-long waits play well for the Biden campaign.
Mayor Jim Kenney handed off his mail-in ballot around noon Monday.
“I just voted, feel good that we got it done, that we can vote early and vote safely,” Kenney said.
Meanwhile, it’s undisputed that the president’s power base lies in rural parts of battleground Pennsylvania. He carried Pennsylvania in 2016 with little help from Philadelphia, where four out of five votes cast were for Hillary Clinton.
“I’m happy to be here and I think it’s a nice crowd, everything is going smoothly. We gotta wait a little bit but I’d rather be here today while it’s nice and sunny because I don’t know what it’s going to be like on the third,” South Philadelphia resident Velma Miller said.
Pennsylvanians have until midnight to submit their voter registration application. However, you have to deliver it to 520 N. Columbus Boulevard for it to count.