By Robert Berger, Point Park News Service
Seven hours have passed since polls opened this morning, and the North Side and Strip District neighborhoods of Pittsburgh have seen a high turnout of voters already.
“We’ve seen young, old, healthy, the disabled and parents bringing their kids teaching them what is going on today and it’s been great to see such a mix of people today,” Judge of Elections Debra Palmer said.
Just over 500 citizens are registered to vote at the polling place located in the Pittsburgh Housing Authority building in the North Side, Palmer said. Just before 2 p.m, the location has already seen 300 fill out a ballot today.
Palmer, who has worked the polls for the last 30 years says that especially in recent years, turnout has been on the rise.
“People have become much more aware of what is going on around them,” Palmer said. “They are actually reading the front page and reading the headlines and it shows.”
Just across the river, election officials at the Pittsburgh EMS training center have also witnessed positive voter turnout thus far. According to Judge of Elections Charmaine Bailey, out of 450 registered voters, nearly 240 have already made it to the polls thus far.
“We have normally seen a low turnout here in years past, but we’re doing well for how early it is,” Bailey said.
According to Bailey, 19-35 years old has been the most common age group of those making it out so far.
Polls are open until 8 p.m tonight.