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Write-in votes leave races undecided

November 15, 2007|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - There were a number of blank spots on ballots in the Nov. 6 general election and a few question marks remain after the write-in ballots were counted, including an apparent nine-way tie for mayor of Mont Alto, Pa.

The Franklin County Election Board's tally of write-ins showed nine votes cast to fill the mayor's seat for two years. Franklin County Sheriff Robert Wollyung does not live in Mont Alto, so that vote will not count and the mysterious entry "2 yr.," also can be discounted.

The names "Tom Loosen" and "Tom Lawson" each received a vote, presumably misspellings of Tom Lowson, who currently is a councilman. If he wanted to switch seats, he would have to petition the election board to cumulate those two names, under state election law.

A few other people got single write-in votes as well.

"At this point, we'll just consider it a vacancy," Franklin County Deputy Chief Clerk Jean Byers said. That would make it the borough council's responsibility to fill the mayoral position, which has been vacant since last summer, Councilman Dennis Monn said.

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Monn's name was not on the ballot for re-election, but he got 16 votes - enough for another four years. Not officially running for re-election makes sense, he said.

"Why should I spend my time running up to Chambersburg to get the (election) packet I need and get the signatures I need and run it back up to Chambersburg?" Monn said. "Why do all that for a position nobody wants?"

There were three four-year council seats and only one candidate, incumbent Beverly Spicer, on the ballot. Along with Monn, Councilwoman Debra Lee appeared to have been re-elected. There also were no candidates on the ballot for the pair of two-year council seats, where Lee and Monn also picked up a handful of votes.

Monn wishes more people would take an interest in running for office. When he first agreed to run some years ago, Monn said he figured he either would do a good job or make enough people angry that they would run for office.

In Greencastle, Pa., there was no listed candidate for a two-year council seat, but Craig Myers collected 159 write-in votes, according to the official count.

There were two candidates for three seats on the Mercersburg (Pa.) Borough Council. Tom Suddith and Mary Frisby both received four write-in votes for the third seat, but Suddith could cumulate another vote written for Thomas Suddith to make it five votes.

Samuel Rock received seven of the nine write-in votes for borough council in Orrstown, Pa. There were two candidates on the ballot, but three seats were up for election.

Four write-in votes were cast for tax collector in Orrstown, with Bonita Appleby receiving two, according to the official count.

A number of municipal auditor and assessor positions were on the ballot without candidates to fill them.

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