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April 26, 2016

At Fairmount poll, 'a lot of young voters'

Election officials at several polling places in Fairmount reported above-average turnout midway through the afternoon on Tuesday, and one elections official said there's been an influx of young voters at his poll.

By 2:50 p.m., more than 190 people had voted in the Pennsylvania primary at one of two polling places inside Bache Martin Elementary School. That comprises about 27 percent of voters, leading Judge of Elections Ann Hlywiak to predict the precinct would finish with a turnout greater than 40 percent.

"We had a lot in the morning," Hlywiak said. "I think people thought it was going to be rainy in the afternoon. We had more than 100 by 8 a.m."
Another nearby polling place located inside The City School reported more than 200 voters by 3 p.m.

"It seems like a lot of young people are coming out, put it that way," Judge of Elections John Neal said. "We have our regulars every election, no matter what. But it seems like we're having a lot of young voters."

If that trend indeed holds true throughout Philadelphia, it likely bodes well for Bernie Sanders. The self-described "democratic socialist" attracted thousands of people – many of them Millennials – to a rally at Temple University this month.

One older Sanders voter, who declined to give his name, said he chose the Vermont senator over Hillary Clinton, in part, for his stance against lobbyists.

"I vote all the time, but I think this election is more important than in the past with the choices," he said. "For the Republicans, the fact that (Donald) Trump is able to mobilize people despite what I feel are really demogogic characteristics ... that, I find highly disturbing.

"Sanders, he has wonderful ideas," he continued. "Yet, unfortunately, the people most affected by them – the socio-economically depressed – for various reasons are not registered to vote or not voting.”