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More than 25 percent turn out to vote in Franklin County

November 07, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Tuesday's voter turnout in Franklin County, Pa., started stronger in Chambersburg than the southern portion of the county, officials said.

That partially could be attributed to the Chambersburg mayoral race between Democrat Peter Lagiovane and Republican Robert B. Wollyung, Deputy Chief Clerk Jean Byers said.

Voters had to be in line at the polls by 8 p.m. to cast a vote in the municipal election.

With all of the county's 74 precincts reporting Tuesday night, 26 percent of the county's 83,930 registered voters had cast ballots, according to unofficial election results.

In Chambersburg's Precinct 2-2, poll worker Peg Hollar said she saw no negative effect on voter turnout from moving the polling place from Andrew Buchanan Elementary School to the Chambersburg Area School District administrative building.

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At 3 p.m., the polling place had seen 386 of its 1,414 registered voters.

"That's a good turnout," Hollar said.

Students from Doug Deardorff's Advanced Placement government and politics class toured the polls at the administrative building. Most of the Chambersburg Area Senior High School students were too young to vote, but they saw the process being practiced.

"People need to have a voice in their community about who their leaders are," said Ashley Coombs, 17.

The class hosted a voter registration drive about six weeks ago, Deardorff said.

"We try to get kids in the school who are 18 to vote," he said.

Evelyn Gray called voting "a right that people have died for" and said she had paid special attention to the commissioners race.

Incumbent Republican Bob Thomas was on ballots along with Republican David S. Keller and Democrats Cheryl Stearn and Bob Ziobrowski. Voters were permitted to select two of the four candidates to represent them on the three-person board.

Gray joined her 97-year-old mother, Mary Hays, at the polls.

Hays said she started voting at age 21 in Sabillasville, Md., in part because her father was an elections judge.

"I've seen many, many elections, and I've seen many candidates win with less than 10 votes," Byers said. "Every vote is important."

Battery backup was utilized temporarily Tuesday morning at the Church of the Transfiguration in Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., Byers said.

The power was restored before the batteries had drained on the ballot counter there, she said.

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