Pa. voters head to polls for municipal election

November 08, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Polls opened at 7 a.m. for Tuesday’s municipal election that will decide the makeup of local government boards, including borough councils, boards of township supervisors and school boards.

Voters can cast ballots if they are in line before polls close at Franklin County’s 75 precincts at 8 p.m. Turnout in the primary election was 21 percent.

The Washington Township seat on the Waynesboro Area School Board, which elects by region, is one of the hottest races of the election.

Three people appear on ballots for two four-year terms representing the township. They are Ashley M. Newcomer, a Republican who appears on ballots as Republican/Democrat; Rita L. Daywalt, a Democrat who appears on ballots as a Republican; and Gregory S. Ochoa, a Democrat.

On Monday, all three candidates said they were trying to tackle some final items on their to-do lists before the election.

“I’ve spent today doing a few last-minute calls, coordinating the 20 poll workers who have volunteered their time to work the polls for Ashley (Newcomer) and I,” Daywalt said in an email.

Daywalt said one of the campaign volunteers is her fiance’s mother, whose birthday was Monday, so she baked her a cake.

Newcomer said she wanted to call people Monday evening and talk to them about “how vitally important this election is.” She also planned to talk to the people representing her at polling places.

“Really, the community has been very supportive throughout this process, and I look forward to seeing them at the polls,” she said.

Ochoa said he’s coordinating with Emilee Eckels Bakner, who is running a write-in campaign for the seat.

“We have a good group of volunteers ready for the polls,” Ochoa said.

Ochoa said he and his son spent time Monday moving signs to be visible at the polling places.

“At this point, I think everything is done that can be done,” he said.

Newcomer and Daywalt “have been campaigning door to door for the last eight weeks,” Daywalt said. “We’ve made a couple of thousand phone calls, as well as (sent) mailings to several hundred voters.”

Voters in the Waynesboro Area School Board’s other two regions also will have candidates on their ballots.

The two incumbents from the Borough of Waynesboro — Billie Finn and Sherry Cline — are running unopposed. In the North End, incumbents Firmadge Crutchfield and Ed Wilson are running against Tammy Black for two four-year terms.

Other contested races in the county include ones for the Tuscarora School Board, Greencastle-Antrim School Board, the Fifth Ward of the Chambersburg Borough Council and the Greencastle Borough Council. Four people are running for the three-person board of Franklin County Commissioners.

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