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Primary choices plentiful for Republicans

April 27, 2004|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - Good races mean good turnout, but the races in today's primary in Pennsylvania are a mixed bag of uncontested and contested races for national and statewide offices.

The turnout in 2000, when there was both a presidential primary and races for the Pennsylvania Senate and House of Representatives, was 11,273, or 16 percent, according to Franklin County Voter Registration Office records.

Two years later, when there were congressional and state House races, the number was again, 16 percent.

Republicans will have more candidates to choose from today. Incumbent U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter faces a primary challenge from U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey; incumbent U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster is vying with Michael DelGrosso for the 9th District nomination; and Rob Kauffman, Chris Sheffield and Fred Stenger are competing for the nomination for the 89th District of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, from which Democrat Jeff Coy is retiring after 11 terms.

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In the 86th District, Republicans Sharon Cole and Mark Keller are seeking the nomination to succeed retiring state Rep. Allan Egolf.

Joseph Hoeffel is unopposed for the Democratic nomination to the U.S. Senate; Paul I. Politis is the only Democrat running in the 9th District and Douglas P. Harbach is running alone for the Democratic nomination in the 89th District.

State Sen. Terry Punt, R-Franklin, has no competition in the GOP primary for the 33rd District, but will face Democrat Donald R. Richards in the November election.

The 75 polling places in the county open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

According to the board of elections, the polling place has been changed in Southampton Township - West District from the Orrstown Personal Care Home at 3329 Orrstown Road to Tall Timbers Park at 3159 Orrstown Road, Orrstown.

New federal and state laws require first-time voters and those who are voting in a precinct for the first time to present identification in order to receive a ballot. Anyone whose name is omitted from the voter rolls at a precinct by accident or otherwise can ask for a provisional ballot, which the board of elections will review to determine if the ballot is valid.

Independent voters can take part in voting, but only on a statewide referendum to determine if Pennsylvania will incur $250 million in debt to finance water and sewer projects.

There are 76,717 registered voters in the county, 44,702 of them Republicans, according to voter registration records. There are 23,096 Democrats and 8,919 people registered as independents or with minor political parties.

Republicans also dominate the voter rolls in the 89th and 86th districts.

According to Franklin and Perry County voter registration records, there are 21,530 Republicans in the 86th District, compared to 9,341 Democrats. Republicans outnumber Democrats 21,354 to 11,933, according to voter records from Franklin and Cumberland counties.

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