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Democrat rolls swell ahead of Pa. vote

From the Associated Press

Democratic Party enrollment surged past the 4 million mark Monday, setting a state record on the last day Pennsylvanians could register to vote in next month’s presidential primary.

The figures, which showed modest declines in the ranks of Republicans and independents, reflected intense interest in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination and recruitment efforts by both candidates, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois.

Since last year’s election, which featured races for judicial and municipal offices, the number of Democrats increased by more than 161,000, to at least 4,044,952. No political party in the state had previously reached the 4 million threshold.

Registration in the GOP declined by about 1%, to 3,215,478 statewide.

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The figures, released by state elections officials, did not include the final hours of voter registration in the state’s 67 counties or mailed-in applications, which will count as long as they are postmarked Monday.

The largest percentage gains were concentrated in the Philadelphia suburbs and the state’s central region, mostly in counties where Republicans still outnumber Democrats.

Of the more than 8.2 million Pennsylvania voters, more than 120,000 are people who were not previously registered to vote.


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