With last minute surges in voter registration, Northampton County Democrats outnumbered Republicans by 31,017, as of Friday morning.
But the Northampton County Election Office still had hundreds more registrations to check addresses for and to put into the computer system, said Dee Rumsey, county director of elections.
As of Friday morning (Oct. 12), Northampton County had 101,338 registered Democrats, 70,321 Republicans and 37,426 independents and members of other parties, according to Rumsey.
That’s a total number of 209,085 voters, though it was being updated by the minute. That tops registration for the 2008 Presidential Election, when Northampton County, had 208,521 registered voters. In that election, county residents cast 130,417 votes – a turnout of 62 percent.
Rumsey said her office might be logging in new voter registrations until close to the Nov. 6 election because she has to verify each voter’s address and the county has many new housing developments with new street addresses.
For example, she had one new voter whose address she couldn’t find in county records. “I actually called the post office and they said it’s a very new development,” Rumsey said.
“I noticed we’re getting a lot of registration drives for the colleges,” she said. Verifying those voter addresses can also be a time-consuming process.
Her staff has been busy sending out absentee ballots – 4,156 as of Friday morning. Registered voters who can’t make it to the polls can apply for an absentee ballot up until 5 p.m. Oct. 30. They must have them back to the voter registration office by 5 p.m. Nov. 2 for them to be counted.
When voters go to the polls Nov. 6, they will be asked for ID. But if they say they don’t have it, they will still be allowed to vote. That was the determination of Commonwealth Court Judge Robert E. Simpson of Nazareth, who upheld the new Voter ID law but halted it from taking full effect until after the election.
Judge Simpson’s ruling let stand the portion of the Voter ID law that requires absentee voters to provide on their ballot identification such as their Voter ID number or Pennsylvania driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number.
While most voters in Northampton County registered with one of the two major parties, there were plenty of interesting third party voters. The county had voters registered, for example, as members of these parties: Libertarian, Socialist, Populist, Patriot, Pro-Life, Reform, Anarchist, American, Liberal, Natural Law, Schmuck and – of course – Birthday.