The 2018 midterm election has the look of something more presidential. Early reports from scattered voting locations indicate voter turnout is more in line with what would be expected of a Presidential election.
“Seeing a record turnout of voters at Ferguson Twshp North 2 precinct,” one election official wrote to the CDT. “Workers believe the 94 voters in the first hour is a record for the precinct.”
The turnout follows on the heels of higher than normal absentee voting that took place prior to Election Day. The CDT reported that absentee voting almost doubled in Centre County since the last midterm election in 2014.
During the 2014 Pennsylvania governor’s race, there were 1,529 absentee voters in the county and as of the week before the election, there were 3,029 absentee voter applications submitted.
“This is statewide,” said Centre County Director of Elections Joyce McKinley, who added that absentee numbers were up everywhere.
At the Hetzel Union Building on the Penn State campus, which encompasses five voting precincts, those who were stationed outside the polling place described lines stretching out the door of Heritage Hall and around the corner.
“The general atmosphere has been really energetic,” said Derek Mangus, a Penn State senior and vice president of the College Democrats. “There’s been tons of people here. Last I heard it was over 3,000 people. In 2014, I think it was around 700, so it’s already like 4 times the last midterm turnout, so that’s super exciting.”