So far, Pa.’s absentee ballot returns point to high-turnout midterm

Pennsylvania doesn't allow early voting--but it does let voters send in absentee ballots as long as they have a good reason for needing one. (John Minchillo/AP Photo, File)

Pennsylvania doesn't allow early voting--but it does let voters send in absentee ballots as long as they have a good reason for needing one. (John Minchillo/AP Photo, File)

Voters in Pennsylvania have until Tuesday to apply for absentee ballots for the November 6 midterm election — and until Friday to send them in to their county elections board.

But more than 96,000 people have already voted absentee — a likely sign of higher-than average turnout.

In contrast, the total ballots counties mailed out by county election offices in the 2014 midterms were just over the number already received this year.

Terry Madonna, a pollster at Franklin and Marshall College, said the numbers just reinforce something that already looked likely.

“Most analysts believe that we’re going to have a higher turnout,” he said. “Certainly higher than 2014, and perhaps as high as we’ve seen any time in decades.”

The DOS said as of Friday, the total number of absentee ballots requested is approaching 200,000.

Requests from Democrats are edging out ones from Republicans by about 15,000, though the GOP has a slight edge in actual ballots cast.

Pennsylvania is considered a key state in this election — in particular, it will help determine whether Democrats retake Congress.

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