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Gov Candidate’s Comments Spur Voter Turnout Debate

November 1, 2010

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Comments from Pennsylvania's Republican candidate for governor are firing up a debate about voter turnout on Election Day. Attorney General Tom Corbett told a crowd in Delaware County recently, 'We want to make sure they don't get 50 percent,' referring to Democratic efforts to get out the vote in Philadelphia for candidates like Corbett's opponent, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato.

Gabe Morgan is Western Pennsylvania director of 32BJ SEIU, representing 16,000 service workers, including office cleaners, security officers and other workers. He calls Corbett's implication "chilling."

"The governor of Pennsylvania has got to be someone who cares about everyone, and cares what's happening in every neighborhood, and cares about what's happening to all voters, whether they vote for him or vote for the opponent."

Morgan says SEIU is working statewide to make sure that eligible voters get involved in the process Tuesday.

"Now, more than ever, it's important for working people to come out and shape their own destiny. What we're doing is we're going out, and we're trying to get people to step up and vote and take charge of what's happening to them."

SEIU member Beverly Sims-Miller says she's been going door to door, trying to mobilize people around her area in Philadelphia to exercise their right to vote.

"I throw it out there that you do make a difference. As long as I can talk and educate other people, I plan to do that."

Corbett later amended his comment by saying, "We want to get 100 percent all across the state.'

Voter turnout is expected to be a major factor in the results for Democrats like Onorato and Senate candidate, Congressman Joe Sestak.

Tom Joseph, Public News Service - PA