Turnout was 17.6 percent, which is better than some

Posted: May 19, 2011

Early on, most politicos were pegging Philadelphia voter turnout in Tuesday's primary at 10 percent to 20 percent - and they were right in the ballpark.

With 96.44 percent of the vote counted as of midday Wednesday, 17.6 percent of total registered voters (Democrats and Republicans) had come out to cast ballots in the mayoral race. Those numbers may be dismal, considering that tens of thousands of people failed to vote.

But consider this: In 2003, when John F. Street was seeking reelection and had no primary opponent, only about 13 percent of voters weighed in on the mayoral primary. In 1995, when Ed Rendell was running for a second term as mayor - again, with no primary opponent - voter turnout was 16.5 percent.

Just food for thought.

- Marcia Gelbart

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