Mistake ballooned Pennsylvania voter party switching by 86,000

Pennsylvania elections officials are blaming a contractor’s human error for erroneously adding 86,000 to this year’s statistics on voters switching their affiliation.

The Department of State said Monday the correct current total of party switchers is 159,000, not 245,000. That’s 2 percent of all voters in the state, although the numbers will rise through the April 18 deadline for counties to forward registration records.

More than 89,000, or about 56 percent, switched to Republican. About 60,000, or 38 percent, became Democrats.

This year is the first year registration could be switched online. Many switchers reported wanting to vote in Pennsylvania’s closed presidential primary elections on April 26.

Historical data isn’t available to show whether 2016’s vote switching is a record.

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