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Janus files for write-in run

March 09, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY - After coming in 12th out of 14 candidates running for four Washington County Board of Education seats, Tom Janus has launched a write-in campaign.

The names of the top eight votegetters in the March 2 school board primary will be on the Nov. 2 general election ballot.

Janus said Monday that he did not do better in the primary election because he did not have enough name recognition.

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"People in the county did not know who I was and what my positions are with regards to helping every child, especially at the elementary level," said Janus, 61, of Hagerstown. "Those who don't know you don't vote for you."

In the next few months, Janus said, he plans to visit the schools in the system with the lowest test scores, volunteer at a school and continue to attend every function held by the school board. He said he also plans to listen to the concerns of citizens and propose solutions.

The fact that Elizabeth Lay, 45, of Clear Spring, drew more votes that Janus in the primary even though she dropped out of the race on Feb. 16 proves his point, he said. As the director of the Washington County Arts Council, Lay is well-known, he said.

Janus received 2,010 votes in the primary election, according to the unofficial results supplied by the Washington County Board of Elections. The names of Lay and Connie Jantz, who dropped out of the race on Jan. 9, still were on the ballot because they withdrew from the race after the ballots were printed.

Lay received 2,149 votes and Jantz received 1,803 votes, according to the unofficial results supplied by the Board of Elections.

Washington County Election Director Dorothy Kaetzel said Janus filed on March 4 as an official write-in candidate.

Those using the touch-screen voting machines can vote for a write-in candidate, Kaetzel said. A keyboard will appear on the screen and voters wishing to cast their ballot for Janus can type in his name, she said.

Election officials met Monday to consider 24 "provisional" ballots cast by people whose registration was in question, Kaetzel said. Four were rejected and the other 20 were counted, she said.

After factoring in the allowed provisional ballots, candidate Barry C. Harbaugh increased his lead over Gary E. Nally for the eighth and final spot from 15 votes to 17 votes, according to the unofficial results. As of Monday, Harbaugh had 2,857 votes and Nally had 2,840 votes, according to the unofficial results.

Election officials are scheduled to meet again Friday, the deadline for overseas ballots to be returned. Kaetzel said six ballots were sent out, but only three were returned by Monday.

On Friday, the board will count the 15 absentee ballots put aside March 4. Kaetzel said the election board also will certify the primary results on Friday.

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