What to Watch Election Day

While many elements combine to decide elections on state and national levels, there are a few key things to look for Tuesday in Pennsylvania and the country.

First, voter turnout in Philly and the southeastern counties will decide who wins the state and maybe who wins down-ballot races such as auditor general. The lower the turnout, the better for Republicans. The higher the turnourt, the better for Democrats.

This is simple math: the state has 1 million more registered Democrats than Republicans.

Second, the state requirement on voter photo ID, which was on and now is off, could cause confusion. Just remember, poll workers are required to ask for photo ID but voters are not required to have it.

(First-time voters or those voting for the first time at a new polling place, however, must have some form of ID, photo or otherwise.)

The watchdog group Committee of Seventy has owned this issue and promises 100 phone volunteers to help clear up any questions (1-866-OUR-VOTE).

Meanwhile, the online news service Capitolwire.com reports that a state mailer saying photo ID is required to vote showed up at one Harrisburg Democratic household but it was unclear where it came from and whether there are more.

Nationally, all eyes will be on Ohio, but the Wall Street Journal says the focus should be on just a few Ohio counties. Here's an excerpt.

"Wall Street Journal counties expert Dante Chinni points to three. One is Hamilton, the home of Cincinnati and a county the Journal has been watching all year. Mr. Obama captured it in 2008, the first time a Democrat had done so since 1964. He doesn't have to win it this time, but he has to make it close.

"Also watch Wood and Ottawa, two counties between Toledo and Cleveland that have gone with the state's winner in every presidential election since 1992."

So make sure to vote, don't worry about voter ID (unless you're a first-time voter), keep tabs on Ohio's Hamilton, Wood and Ottawa counties and enjoy participating in (and watching) Democracy in action.

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