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Final election results due Thursday

May 27, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- The Franklin County Commissioners office wrapped up five days of counting write-in votes Wednesday afternoon, but said official results would not be released until Thursday.

Both Democratic and Republican ballots had many blank spaces this year for voters to write-in the candidate of their choice thanks to the numerous uncontested or single-party races.

Chief Deputy Clerk Jean Byers said it took longer than anticipated to count the thousands of write-in votes cast May 19.

The Memorial Day holiday and previously scheduled meetings slowed the process, Byers said.

"We started counting on Friday," she said Wednesday at closing time. "We just finished."

Byers said her office will not release official results until Thursday, but some candidates already might be celebrating a nomination.

Each polling place is required to post a running tally of the write-in votes cast on Election Day, Byers said. Some candidates, especially those who asked voters to write in their name, will monitor those lists and try to gauge their success on election night.

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However, those lists are "very, very unofficial," she said.

It is difficult for a write-in candidate to win an election, but it is not uncommon, Byers said.

A candidate only needs 10 votes in the primary to qualify as a write-in candidate, however, only those with the most votes will receive the party nomination.

Voters always can write in names on a ballot in any election, primary or general, but this year, many races in Franklin County saw voters writing in quite a few names, particularly those for township supervisor and borough council.

The seven candidates who filed for Antrim Township supervisor in the primary filed on the Republican ticket, leaving registered Democrats room to cast 301 write-in votes for the two open positions, according to complete, but unofficial Franklin County election results.

Democrats in Washington Township cast 262 write-in votes for township supervisor, the same opening for which Republicans nominated Jeffrey Geesaman.

With uncontested races on the Republican ballots for township supervisor in Greene and Guilford townships, Greene Township Democrats cast 95 write-in votes and Guilford Township Democrats cast 75 votes.

In Waynesboro's Third Ward, Republicans cast 121 write-in votes for the seat held by incumbent Craig Newcomer, who missed the filing deadline in March and said he would campaign for write-in votes.

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