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Pa. Democrats plan weekend petition party

February 24, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Democrats in Franklin County, Pa., this weekend will be rallying around party candidates for offices from the local to state level at a petition party.

Some of those candidates will be on hand throughout the day to meet the Democrats signing their petitions, said Beth Shupp-George, first vice chairwoman of the Democratic County Committee.

Also, residents can register to vote and sign a petition immediately, she said.

"We're really pushing hard to get signatures for the Democrat (candidates)," said Shupp-George.

The petition party is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the county party headquarters at 85 N. Main St. Candidates Doug Hodges and Andrew Alosi, both seeking seats in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, are scheduled to visit the party.

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On Wednesday evening in Waynesboro, Pa., the Democrats hosted guest speakers Maj. Gen. Gerald T. Sajer, Gettysburg (Pa.) College professor Shirley Anne Warshaw and Franklin County Commissioner Cheryl Plummer at a Mardi Gras-themed dinner with a portion of proceeds benefiting hurricane relief.

Sajer spoke in support of Bob Casey Jr.'s challenge to U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., while Warshaw commented on the "imperial presidency" of George W. Bush and Plummer discussed changes to election procedures, Shupp-George said.

Shupp-George said the most significant change is that voters will be placing their paper ballots into an optical scanner, instead of a traditional ballot box. That scanner will then automatically deposit the paper ballot into the box.

"Those results will just be saved on a disk in the scanner," said Shupp-George, who noted the results won't be made available until after polls close.

Shupp-George described the scanning process as "one of the best systems," since the paper ballots remain available to double-check computer-generated results.

"You have the paper trail," she said. "You have the paper ballots if there's (any) question."

This Saturday's petition party will help the candidates, including Gov. Ed Rendell, obtain signatures they need before filing in the next couple weeks.

"We'll have some refreshments - coffee and sodas," said Shupp-George, who also highlighted the committee's monthly movie nights every third Tuesday.

More information about the Democratic County Committee and its activities is available at www.franklincountydems.org.

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