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Credit: Marija Westfall

Voter registration in the city of Philadelphia is at the highest level it has been at in 35 years, according to statistics from the Pennsylvania Department of State. 

As of Pennsylvania’s Oct. 19 voter registration deadline, more than 1,120,000 Philadelphians have registered to cast a ballot in the upcoming presidential election. Voter registration has not reached this level of volume in the city since 1984, Billy Penn reported, when just over 1,135,000 eligible residents had registered to vote according to data from the Philadelphia Office of City Commissioners. 

Philadelphia's percentage of eligible voters who have subsequently registered is also at its highest since 2004. According to the Billy Penn analysis of data from the Philadelphia Office of City Commissioners and the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 90% of all eligible residents are currently registered to vote.

The uptick in voter registration in Philadelphia is part of a broader pattern of increased registration across the United States in anticipation of the 2020 election. Pennsylvania, Texas, and Ohio are among the key battleground states that have reached record voter registration levels during this election year, Vox reported.

While registration levels are not necessarily a meaningful indication of voter turnout, many signs are already pointing to record turnout in this year’s election between 1968 Wharton graduate Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. 

Philadelphia voters have already requested nearly 430,000 mail-in ballots for the November election, more than half of the total votes cast in the city in 2016. Nationwide, NBC news reported more than 62 million voters have already cast their ballots early, surpassing early voting numbers from 2016 by more than 12 million votes. 

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