Big GOP advantage among absentee ballots in Pennsylvania 

Roll Call has stunning report on early voting trends in Pennsylvania:

While Rep. Joe Sestak (D) appears to have seized the momentum in Pennsylvania’s Senate contest, Keystone State Republicans are far more active than Democrats in early voting activity, according to absentee balloting figures released by the state Wednesday at Roll Call’s request.

Pennsylvania voters have requested nearly 127,000 absentee ballots so far. Of that total, Republican voters made up 50 percent and Democrats made up 42 percent, according to figures collected Tuesday afternoon.

The state records show Republicans are returning their absentee ballots in greater numbers as well. The state has received about 40 percent of requested ballots, and Republican registrations outpace Democrats by 19 points, 56 percent to 37 percent, according to the state data. Absentee ballots made up 5 percent of total turnout in 2008.

Granted, 127,000 ballots is a drop in the bucket compared to he total number of votes that could be cast in Pennsylvania, but if this sample is even remotely representative of the composition of the state’s electorate in this election, Democrats are in for a world of hurt.

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Mark Hemingway

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