Venango voter director says summer has been busy

 Venango County’s voter registration director says her office has been busy this summer as more residents are seeking applications to register to vote in anticipation of the Trump-Cinton presidential election.

The numbers bear that out as there were 31,635 registered voters in the county on Aug. 4 compared to 30,822 registered voters for last year’s general election in November.

Gerry McGuinness, the voter registration director, says the registered voter totals include both active and inactive voters. McGuinness said there were 28,193 active voters in the county Aug. 4, meaning about 89 percent of the county’s voters are considered active.

Voter status changes to inactive if mailings are returned from an address that is not deliverable or if the voter has missed the past two federal elections.

The United State Census Bureau’s last estimate of the county’s population was in July 2015. At that time, Venango County was estimated to have a population of 53,119 people, and based on this number just more than 53 percent of the population are active voters.

There were 15,375 Republicans and 9,660 Democrats among the active voters in the county on Aug. 4, giving the Republicans a 55 percent to 34 percent edge over the Democrats.

The remaining 11 percent of the voting pool consists of those affiliated with other parties and those voters who don’t have affiliations.

There were 16,571 registered Republicans and 11,084 registered Democrats in Venango County for the April primary, and those numbers included both active and inactive voters.

About 74,000 voters statewide, specifically Independents or minor party members, switched their registration earlier this year to vote in the primary, which is only open to Republicans and Democrats. There were 233 Venango County voters in that group with 123 switching to Republican and 110 to Democrat.

McGuinness said that in her years in her position she has come to know the voters here as very passionate and that they always believe in their candidate.

In a given municipal election, she estimated the county has about a 25 to 30 percent turnout, but she said those voters are very dedicated and come out for nearly every election.

McGuinness said she has no guess which way Pennsylvania will swing this year as an important battleground state in the presidential election, but she stressed that her office has indeed been busy.

“I hope that people will recognize that voting is a privilege and something we need to be doing,” McGuinness said.

She added that she also lives by the rule that if someone isn’t registered to vote, he or she doesn’t have the right to complain.

Applications to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot are available at or at