Which Wards Saw the Biggest Voter Registration Gains Since Last November?

Now that we're past the voter registration deadline and the numbers are all recorded with the Department of State, we now have some fresh data on what the electorate could potentially look like in Pennsylvania and in Philadelphia for the 2018 midterms. 

Emily Previti, writing at the new PA Post political news site, looked into the statewide numbers and found that registrations are up, which is rare in a midterm year

Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated or third-party voters’ registration increased during 2018, which didn’t happen for any other midterm for at least the past two decades, according to a PA Post analysis of Pennsylvania Department of State archived registration data going back to 1998.

Registration rose 1 percent for Republicans, 2 percent for Democrats and 4 percent for unaffiliated and third-party voters this year, Department of State data shows [...]

Democrats saw a net gain of 70,000 voters, about 25,000 of whom switched from the Republicans.  Republicans saw a gain of 43,000, most of whom—35,000—switched from the Democrats. And interestingly, unaffiliated and third party voter registration saw an increase of 50,000 voters, or seven thousand more than the Republicans. 

The same pattern played out in the top level numbers in Philadelphia. A total of 32,971 new voters registered in Philadelphia in the past year. Of those, Democrats increased their registration by 21,542 voters, Republicans by 1,832, and unaffiliated or third-party voters by 9,597. 

The vast majority of these new registrations took place between the May primary and the registration deadline. Since this past May, 28,924 new voters registered overall (out of almost 33,000), 19,577 of whom were Democrats, 1,856 were Republicans, and 7,491 were something else. 

Data compiled by Will Hines and Seth Bluestein at Commissioner Al Schmidt's office reveals similar trends in registration within the wards, and indicates a continuation of prior trends we've seen where wards in greater Center City, South Philly, University City, and the Riverwards wards increasing both their vote share and their turnout. Download this spreadsheet for a deeper look at the numbers in each ward, and refer to the ward map at the bottom of this post to see which areas of the city the different ward numbers refer to.

Top 10 Wards with the largest percentage gains

Since the 2018 Primary

27 (8%) University City
8 (7%) Center City West
24 (7%) University City and Mantua
18 (7%) Fishtown and South Kensington
5 (6%) Society Hill, Center City East, Old City, Northern Liberties
47 (6%) Brewerytown
31 (5%) East Kensington and Olde Richmond
02 (5%) Bella Vista, Queen Village, Passyunk
30 (5%) Graduate Hospital
29 (5%) Brewerytown and Sharswood

Since the 2017 General

8 (9%) Center City West
18 (9%) Fishtown and South Kensington
27 (8%) University City
5 (8%) Society Hill, Center City East, Old City, Northern Liberties
24 (8%) University City and Mantua
31 (5%) East Kensington and Olde Richmond
21 (5%) Roxborough
2 (5%) Bella Vista, Queen Village, Passyunk
30 (5%) Graduate Hospital
15 (5%) Fairmount and Francisville
46 (5%) West Philly, Baltimore Ave
1 (5%) East Passyunk
29 (5%) Brewerytown and Sharswood
47 (5%) Brewerytown
36 (5%) Point Breeze
14 (5%) Poplar

Wards with biggest increases in the total number of new registrants since the primary included most of the same characters, and particularly the greater Center City and University City wards, but they also included Point Breeze (Ward 36), West Philly's Baltimore Ave corridor from Clark Park to Cedar Park (Ward 46), and Roxborough (Ward 21).  Wards with the lowest registration increases were mostly concentrated in North Philly, Lower Northwest, and the Northeast: 64, 16, 28, 43, 55, 11, 44, 13, 17, and 37. 

The Wards with the largest percentage increases in registration since last year's 2017 General Election are essentially the same as the list above, just reshuffled a bit, and including wards 14, 15, 21, 36, and 46 which tied some of the others at 5% increases. 

Early signs point to this being a big turnout year for a midterm election, like the big spike in absentee ballots that have come in so far. But it's always worth reiterating that voter turnout rates in Pennsylvania would almost certainly be much higher if we could reduce some of the massive headwinds for election participation from PA state election law.

Showing 1 reaction

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.