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Voter registration rising ahead of elections in York

David Weissman
505-5431/@DispatchDavid
  • The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 8 general election is Oct. 11.
  • York County has added about 4,900 registered voters since April, including 3,000 registered to GOP.

The Halloween, Interesting and Jedi parties have all garnered registrations from York County voters, but the Republican Party holds a rising majority with about one month left to register ahead of the 2016 general election.

In this file photo, York County Elections and Voter Registration Director Nikki Suchanic emphatically talks to poll workers about the importance of the official voting machine cartridge bag during a training session at the Red Lion Area Senior Center in Red Lion, Pa. on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Dawn J. Sagert - dsagert@yorkdispatch.com

A total of 283,792 people have registered to vote in York County as of Friday, according to the county's Office of Elections and Voter Registration.

For the primary elections in April, that figure was 278,893, and the Republican Party, with just less than 141,000 registrants, picked up about 3,000 of those 4,900 additional registrants since that time.

The Democratic Party, with about 99,700 registrants, has added just more than 600 new registrants in the county since the primaries, while other parties — which include independents and no affiliations — have added about 1,200.

The deadline to register for the Nov. 8 election is Oct. 11.

Nikki Suchanic, director of the county elections office, said the county tends to see a spike in registrations in the months preceding presidential elections.

Alex Shorb, chairman of the York County Republican Committee, credited presidential candidate Donald Trump as the force behind the local increase in GOP voter registration.

Alex Shorb

Shorb said local party officials have ramped up efforts to register voters by attending local fairs and gun shows. Representatives will be in Memorial Hall throughout the York Fair, he said.

"We try to do everything we can," he said. "Anyone who wants to register, we make the forms available."

Chad Baker, chairman of the Democratic Party of York, did not return a request for comment.

The coming election will be the first presidential election since the state passed a law in August 2015 to allow online voter registration.

Gloria Pratt, 75, of Hanover, is excited after receiving her free Trump yard sign at the York County Republican booth at the York Fair, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016.  John A. Pavoncello photo

Suchanic didn't have exact numbers but said she's seen an increase in online voter registration this year.

She likes the option, she said, because it helps her office process applications more easily.

Shorb said he's heard positive feedback from residents about the online registration option.

"Registration should be made as easy as possible," he said.

A total of 280,195 people were registered to vote in the county for the 2012 general election, and 68 percent of them voted in person or via absentee ballot.

Republicans outpacing Dems in York County.

— Reach David Weissman at dweissman@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @DispatchDavid.