Fast-approaching primary raises questions of voter turnout

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) Voter registration numbers for Luzerne County largely show a shift of registered democrats switching to the republican party.

Justin Behrens, the chairman of the Luzerne County Republican Party, says the GOP in the county which helped Donald Trump with the White House in 2016 is taking an aggressive approach in 2020.

“I can tell you the Republican Party is working harder than ever,” Behren said. “We got young republicans out knocking on doors, talking to people… We are energized.”

According to voter registration numbers published by the Pennsylvania Department of State, the number of Democrats that switched their party affiliation to Republican is nearly four times larger than Republicans that switched to the Democratic Party in Luzerne County.

Voter registration numbers from the same time period in 2016 showed an even larger discrepancy. During that time, 1,258 voters switched from the Democratic Party to Republican compared to 212 that switched from the GOP. The chart below shows total party switches for 2016.

Chairperson of the Luzerne County Democratic Party, Kathy Bozinski, is optimistic her party will turn out and defeat President Donald Trump in 2020.

“I think that people’s perspective changes even though Luzerne County has always been a traditional strong Democratic base you’ll still see a lot of change in past several years,” Bozinski said. “A lot of emotion and some issues being stirred up by the current president.”

Democrats still hold about a 30,000 person advantage in voter registration in Luzerne County.

Click here for the full data set from the Pennsylvania Department of State.

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