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Many choices await voters Tuesday in Pa.

May 14, 2007|by JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - Polls open at 7 a.m. Tuesday for a primary election that promises to be different in several ways for Franklin County voters.

First, state law has afforded them an opportunity to decide whether to shift some of the burden of property taxes to income taxes. The amount of that shift varies by school district.

The choice, which comes courtesy of Act 1 of 2006, is available to all registered voters.

Secondly, a field of 12 commissioners candidates will be divided by party and put on ballots.

Incumbents G. Warren Elliott and Cheryl Plummer announced earlier this year they would not seek re-election to their fourth four-year terms. The third member of the board, Bob Thomas, is running for the Republican nomination and seeking his fourth term.

The Republican and Democratic parties each will select two candidates to send to the November election. The top three vote-getters then will form the board of commissioners.

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Special voting machines purchased through the Help America Vote Act will be available for people with disabilities Tuesday at the county's 74 precincts. Voters opting for the other, widely used machines will be voting with the ones debuted last November.

Those machines, available until polls close at 8 p.m., scan ballots and sort those with write-in votes into a separate pile to be counted later.

Thirdly, Franklin County plans to post election results for the first time on the Web at www.co.franklin.pa.us. The site can be accessed through The Herald-Mail's Web site, www.herald-mail.com.

In addition to the commissioners candidates - of which there are seven Republicans and five Democrats - voters will be selecting borough council, township supervisor and school board candidates to forward to the November municipal election.

In Waynesboro, 10 candidates are looking to fill five open seats on the school board. Voters elect by three regions, dividing residents into the Borough of Waynesboro, Washington Township and the North End, which includes homes in South Mountain, Quincy Township, Mont Alto and the portion of Guilford Township in the district.

Five Waynesboro Area School Board incumbents all are seeking re-election. Their challengers are a homemaker, infrastructure specialist, retiree, chief financial officer and wastewater treatment plant operator.

In Chambersburg, two school board races are contested out of six open seats. Voters there also elect by region.

Incumbent Stanley Helman and challenger Michael Cerveris are squaring off in Region 2.

William Tolleson and Joseph Tosten are looking to complete the term of Region 1 board member Paul Ambrose, who died in December 2006. Tolleson was appointed to the position temporarily.

School board candidates in Pennsylvania are permitted to cross-file, appearing on both Republican and Democratic ballots, if they choose.

Five Republicans have filed to appear on ballots for two open supervisors seats in Washington Township. Incumbents C. Stewart McCleaf and Paul Benchoff are seeking re-election. They are challenged by Elaine Gladhill, Stephen Kulla and David McCarney.

With incumbent Scott Diffenderfer not running for another six-year term, a field of six Republicans and one Democrat exists for his position with the Antrim Township Supervisors. The top vote-getters will advance to the general election.

Two candidates, Dane Anthony and William M. "Bill" Kauffman, both Republicans, are vying to be the county's sheriff.

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