Mail-in ballots and the Pa. Primary | The Numbers Racket

By: - June 22, 2020 6:30 am

(Capital-Star photo by John L. Micek)

This year is a first for mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania. The COVID-19 pandemic has also pushed many Pennsylvanians to seek a mail-in ballot when they otherwise would have voted in person. 

Curious what the demographics of those requests for mail-in ballots looks like across the state? 

So were we, which is why it’s the subject of this week’s Numbers Racket. 

Requests for mail-ins from registered voters

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania reports that the top five counties across the state for mail-in ballot requests in the June 2 primary were: 

Allegheny County … 31.2%

Montgomery County … 27.1%

Luzerne County … 25.2%

Chester County … 24.9%

Lackawanna County … 23.8%

Statewide, the percentage of registered voters who requested a mail-in ballot for the primary was 21.3 percent. 

Pennsylvania’s more rural counties made up the bottom five of requests for mail-in ballots:

Fulton County … 10%

Northumberland County … 12.3%

Warren County … 12.5%

Bradford County … 12.7%

Potter County … 13%

Mail-in ballots requested

The number of mail-in ballots requested for the June 2 primary varies greatly across Pennsylvania, but, statewide, 1,828,503 mail-in ballots were requested!

Take a look at the by-county breakdown to see how your county stacked up: 

Requests for mail-in ballots by age

Statewide, the average age of voters who requested a mail-in ballot was 57.8 years old.

The three counties with the highest average age of voters who requested a mail-in ballot were: 

  • Forest County … 66.8 years old
  • Sullivan County … 66.1 years old
  • Cameron County … 65.5 years old

The three counties with the youngest average of voters who requested a mail-in ballot were: 

  • Philadelphia County … 51.2 years old
  • Centre County … 55.4 years old
  • Chester County … 55.7 years old

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. She is a graduate of Penn State University where she served as the campus newspaper’s photo editor. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared. Follow her on Twitter: @Wordsby_CassieM.