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Officials Say Voter Registration Light in Berks Co.

By Pam Cunningham
Published On: Aug 24 2011 12:36:59 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 04 2010 05:28:58 AM CDT
READING, Pa. -

If you're not registered to vote in the November election, you're out of luck. The deadline to register was today.

And despite some high profile races in the mix this year, election officials said voter turnout may be really low.

In Berks County, the final tally of registered voters is coming in.

"If I'm comparing it to four years ago, the registration is slower than it was four years ago for this type of election," said Debbie Olivieri, director of elections in Berks County.

In Berks, there are more than 250,000 registered voters.

"We want good government and Pennsylvanians are happy with that," said Terry Madonna, political science professor at Franklin and Marshall College. "They don't need a lot of drama and a lot of excitement. And guess what they're not getting a lot of drama and they're not getting a lot of drama or excitement out of these campaigns."

Link: Pa. Voting Information

Monday was the last day to register and at Election Services, they said they have plenty of work to do before election day.

"Regardless of what the turnout is, it costs this office the same amount of money to conduct an election," said Olivieri. "So. of course the better turnout we have, the happier we are."

Historically, Olivieri said midterm elections like this one will always have lower voter turnout.

But this year, even the hotly-contested race for governor and U.S. Senate isn't expected to drive people to the polls.

"Gubernatorial races in the past have been about big things, big ideas," said Madonna. "There are no big ideas and no big things for the voters to grab to get a handle on."

Looking at polls, Madonna said Republican voters are more motivated to turn out. But with a month to go, nothing is for sure.

"There's still time for the parties to sort of motivate their voters," said Madonna.

The Democrats are calling in the big wigs like President Obama and Bill Clinton to help Joe Sestak against Pat Toomey in the U.S. Senate race and Dan Onorato against Tom Corbett for the governor's race.

In Berks County, there are more than 120,000 registered Democrats and 93,000 Republicans.