By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — One of the big races being watched in our region on Tuesday is Philadelphia’s district attorney election. Incumbent Democrat Larry Krasner is seeking a second term in office. He’s facing a challenge from Republican Charles Peruto.

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From what CBS3 saw Tuesday morning, voter turnout appears to be light compared to the 2020 presidential election when a record number of people turned out.

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Krasner voted earlier in the morning at the Saint George Greek Orthodox Church in Center City. Meanwhile, his challenger, criminal defense attorney Chuck Peruto, voted in Rittenhouse Square at Trinity Church.

In a race historically decided at the primary, does concern of Philadelphia’s rising near-historic murder rate inject life into this late-hour Election Day contest?

Eileen Simmons from Wynnefield would tell you yes, without a doubt.

“It used to be a time where women, expected mothers and children, you hardly ever heard of them being murdered. But now it’s right along with everyone else,” she said.

As of midnight, at least 460 people have been killed so far this year. That’s 11% higher than this time last year.

Peruto has cast Krasner as “light on accountability” for lawbreakers. He says his plan is more jail time for shooters caught on city streets.

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But Krasner, a first-term reform trailblazer, has worked to depart from heavy-handed law and order from the past.

He says Philadelphia voters have overwhelmingly approved his agenda.

“There are two things that are central to what we have to do,” Krasner said. “One is to focus on the most serious crime, but the other one to bring reform and Philadelphians know what they want and that’s what they want. We’re going to continue to do that. We’ll have more specific announcements as we move forward, but we’re really excited about a second term.”

Peruto tells CBS3 he is hopeful.

“Hopeful, hopeful at best. I know what the numbers are. But if I lose, it’s not going to be because I didn’t work hard. I’m on no sleep, I’ve been on no sleep for the last three weeks. So I just keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best,” Peruto said.

Polls are open until 8 p.m. in Philadelphia.

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CBS3’s Howard Monroe and Joe Holden contributed to this report.

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