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October 12, 2016

Pa. officials: More than 87,000 people applied online during final day of voter registration

The deadline to register to vote in Pennsylvania passed Tuesday at midnight, but not before thousands of eligible voters used the state's online voter registration (OVR).

Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of State Pedro Cortés released Wednesday the figures showing that 87,746 state residents submitted applications on the final day of voter registration.

How to register to vote, request absentee ballots in Pa., N.J.

“Online voter registration has been a tremendous success and asset for the people of Pennsylvania,” Wolf said. “This innovation has made it easier for people to participate in the civic process and I am proud of the work done by the Department of State to launch this application and the overwhelming response by civic-minded Pennsylvanians.”

The state's OVR was launched in August 2015 to make it easier for residents to access voting information. So far, 899,394 people have used it to either register for the first time or update existing registration.

State officials credit the system for a late surge in voter registration. In October, 254,657 applications were submitted. A total of 172,256 people applied in September.

Some paper applications still need to be processed, but this year's surge has already surpassed the two previous presidential elections.

From May until October, 1,009,862 applications were already received this year. That's more than the 631,645 and 961,937 applications submitted in 2012 and 2008, respectively.

State residents can still use the OVR to register for future elections but are unable to register for the Nov. 8 election. Registered voters can also access the website to find their polling place.