Erie Vital Signs

Voter Participation: Registered & Eligible Voters - Primary Elections

Recent Performance

This trend has been slightly positive in the most recent few years, although it is not back up to the level reached in 2009.

Between 2000 and 2014, the number of registered and eligible voters in the primary elections in Erie County reached a high of 195,123 in 2009. The number fell by 12.4 percent to 170,941 in 2011, although it has risen in each of the last three years, rising by 4.4 percent between 2011 and 2014 to stand at 178,501. However, as a percent of citizens who are eligible to vote (Erie County residents age 18 and older), registered and eligible voters in the primary elections fell to about 78.7 percent in 2012 from about 90 percent in 2009.

It is also interesting to note that, in the previous three presidential election years, the number of registered and eligible voters in the primary elections in Erie Country in 2012 was lower than in 2008, but higher than in 2004.


The Basics

A voter is a person who formally indicates a choice between two or more candidates or courses of action expressed typically through a ballot, show of hands, or by voice. Voter participation is the overall act of the voter(s) taking part in the polling process. Primary elections, which are based on political party affiliation, are generally held in the spring.

Why It's Important

Voting is an important component of a democratic system and the number of registered and eligible voters reflects the extent to which citizens in an area are willing to engage in the democratic process. Voting participation of a community can indicate a variety of different things. High voting participation can indicate a very controversial or important election. Likewise, low voting participation can indicate a very unpopular election where both or all candidates are not liked, or in which the issues are not perceived by voters to be important. The number of registered and eligible voters in the primary elections may reflect the relative strengths of various political party affiliations. Voting participation may also be related to other demographic variables such as the level of education.

The Details

Registered and eligible voters in the primary elections are the total number of registered voters in the spring of each year, as recorded by the Pennsylvania Department of State.

The Nitty-Gritty Details

Pennsylvania Department of State, Voter Registration Statistics

Subcategories

This EVS indicator has no subcategories. However, the Pennsylvania Department of State does provide data on the number of registered and eligible voters by political party affiliation.

Peer Areas

The data source used here only provides statistics for counties in Pennsylvania.

Frequency

Annual

Source

Pennsylvania Department of State, Voter Registration Statistics

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