Voters Rush to Register and Change Parties

WILKES-BARRE -- This is the deadline to register to vote in Pennsylvania's primary election next month.

There has been rush of registrations and party changes leading up to this deadline.

It is looking more and more like Pennsylvania's primary is going to matter and be quite important this year.

Hundreds of voters have been registering and switching parties leading up to this final day for people to register for Pennsylvania's primary. A lot of the activity involves people changing parties for the primary.

"I don't want to regret not voting in this election," said Patrick Martin of Pittston.  "I think this is an extremely important election."

Pennsylvania is about to get its turn in this wild primary season.  Many other states have had their say about all these candidates. Right now it looks like the Keystone State will still matter when we vote on April 26.

"A lot of interesting characters, that's for sure," said Brad Kester.

The latest independent poll shows a close race for the Republicans in Pennsylvania.

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Frank Alexis is one of those; he's here switching from Democrat to Republican.

"I haven't made up my mind totally on that side yet. I'm considering all the possibilities and I'll figure something out by the time the election comes around," said Alexis.

Patrick Martin was switching to Democrat.

"I've been a registered Independent my whole life. I've never gone Republican or Democrat, and this year I'm going Democrat because if you believe in someone this year, you really have to vote for them in this primary.

He plans to vote for Bernie Sanders

But that same poll from Franklin and Marshall College shows Hillary Clinton leading Sanders 53 to 28 percent among Democrats in Pennsylvania.

pa dem

Across Pennsylvania, the Department of State says around 200,000 voters have been switching parties leading up to the primary.

So far:

  • 85,277 have switched from Democrats to Republican,
  • 34,350 have switched from Republican to Democrat,
  • 52,177 have switched from Independent and other parties to Democrat,
  • 42,588 have switched from Independent and other parties to Republican.

Voters can either register here or change their party at the counter, mail in their registration or do it online.  One thing's for sure, no matter how they did it, they kept this office busy.

"I hope enough people like me show up and even though it's the last day and we can make a difference," said Kester.

Voter registrations had to be done in person or postmarked by Monday, but there is still time to register or change your party online. That has to be done by midnight.