Voters set to narrow school board field to eight

March 02, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

The field of candidates seeking four seats on the Washington County Board of Education is about to be cut nearly in half as voters cast their ballots today in the primary election.

The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Election Board Supervisor Dorothy Kaetzel said.

Also today, some voters will be casting ballots for presidential candidates, among other contests.

Fourteen people, including four incumbents, are running for seats on the school board. The eight receiving the most votes will run in the Nov. 2 general election, Kaetzel said.

The four incumbents are:

  • Edward Forrest, 40, of Hagerstown.

  • Roxanne Ober, 44, of Hagerstown.

  • Bernadette Wagner, 46, of Hagerstown.

  • Princeton Young, 56, of Hagerstown.

Challenging them are:

  • Thomas Berry, 71, of Rohrersville.

  • The Rev. Blaine E. Feightner, 57, of Keedysville.

  • Richard Grassby, 68, of Hagerstown.

  • Barry Harbaugh, 44, of Clear Spring.

  • Tom Janus, 61, of Hagerstown.

  • Gary Nally, 46, of Williamsport.

  • Wayne Ridenour, 52, of Williamsport.

  • George William "Bill" Sonnik III, 57, of Williamsport.

  • Teresa Spruill, 45, of Smithsburg.

  • William Staley, 59, of Hagerstown.

The names of two others - Connie Jantz, 39, of Knoxville and Elizabeth Lay, 45, of Clear Spring - will be on the ballot but both dropped out of the school board race.


Kaetzel said she is hoping for 25 percent turnout in the primary.

During the last presidential primary race, in March 2000, a total of 20,874 ballots, representing 29.8 percent of registered voters, were cast at Washington County polling places, according to the Election Board.

That is about average for a presidential year primary, Kaetzel said.

Turnout in March 2000 included 28.8 percent of registered Democrats and 30.6 percent of registered Republicans.

The 41.4 percent turnout for the 1992 primary was unusually high, she said. Turnout was 26.9 percent in 1996, even with a school board race, Kaetzel said.

Tuesday's Maryland primary will mark the first time the state's new touch-screen voting machines will be used in a local election, Kaetzel said.

The new AccuVote-TS touch-screen voting machines allow voters to choose candidates, review their choices and lock in their final selections. Voters arriving at their polling stations will be given access cards that, when inserted into the machines, allow them to begin making their selections.

An online demonstration of the new voting system is available at

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