A deadline is approaching for Yorkers who want to register to vote in the Nov. 5 election.
And there are about 12,000 fewer people registered than in the last general election.
Nearly 268,000 York County residents are registered under numerous party affiliations, compared with more than 280,000 last year.
Last year was a presidential election, and they tend to bring higher numbers of voters.
But the big decrease came because of a purge of inactive voters in the county's system, said Nikki Suchanic, director of the county's Department of Elections and Voter Registration.
She said more than 15,200 voters were removed from the rolls about four months ago, after the primary, because they haven't been active for five years. The county periodically purges the rolls of voters who haven't voted, re-registered, changed affiliation or been otherwise active as voters, she said.
So technically, with those 15,000 people gone, there are about 3,000 more active voters on the rolls for this November because the overall number of voters fell by only 12,000 after the purge.
Monday, Oct. 7, is the last day to register for the municipal election, which includes contested races for Common Pleas judge and county coroner.
Who's voting: In the purge, Democrats lost 5,411 voters and Republicans lost about 5,281 voters. That leaves the current registration for November at 96,388 Democrats and 130,723 Republicans, and 40,886 independent or third-party voters, including 2,026 Libertarians.
There are dozens of other party affiliations - including the "Birthday" party, anarchists, socialists, pirates and Whigs - but most include fewer than 20 people.
And though all affiliations are eligible to vote in the general election, Suchanic said she's expecting a dismal 13 to 14 percent turnout, or about 37,500 voters. And that's only a measure of those who are actually registered.
According to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates, there are about 330,000 York County residents of legal voting age, 18 or older.
Suchanic said it's "sad," but the low turnout is typical. In 2011, the last general municipal election, turnout was 14.5 percent.
Presidential elections are considerably higher. Turnout in last November's presidential showdown between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney was 68 percent. Of the 280,195 people registered, 190,609 cast ballots.
Local races: There are pockets of higher and lower turnout, depending on the location of the most hotly contested races in that year's election, she said.
Bob Wilson, who chairs the county's Republican Party, said there are exciting races all over the county, including for school boards, judges and local supervisor positions.
"They say all politics is local, and this is the year we truly mean it," he said. "This is where it matters the most for people who are concerned about ... their communities."
Bob Kefauver, who chairs the Democratic Party of York County, said local races have the most direct affect on voters and it's unfortunate that voters don't pay closer attention.
"Some of these races are determined by a dozen or two votes," he said.
To view a list of all positions on the ballot, visit http://yorkcountypa.gov/voting-elections/specimen-ballots.html. To register to vote, visit http://yorkcountypa.gov/voting-elections/register-to-vote.html.
- Reach Christina Kauffman at email@example.com.