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Early voter turnout light in Franklin County for municipal election

November 08, 2011|By BILL KOHLER | billk@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Turnout for the Pennsylvania municipal general election was light in Franklin County at noon despite unseasonably warm conditions for the second week of November.

Jean Byers, deputy chief clerk who has been overseeing elections in Franklin County for 24 years, said things were going well in the county's 73 polling places.

"It sounds like a very light turnout so far. We hope it will pickup up after people get home from work," she said.

Byers said there were no major problems. "Things have been pretty quiet," she said.

She said election officials are expecting a low turnout based on a number of factors, including:

• The turnout of the same election four years ago,

• The number of people who requested an absentee ballots.

Byers said both factors pointed to a low turnout today.

Another perhaps obvious sign was the literal lack of signs.

"Some areas are blasted with them, but overall, there are not that many candidate voters signs out there," said Byers. "If you look along the highways and interstate, you just don't see as many this year."

Byers said the lack of contested races also plays a huge part.

Countywide, only the commissioner race was contested as the three incumbents faced a challenge from Democratic candidate Garry E. Gontz.

Many school board and borough council races were decided in the May 17 primary.

The hottest races are on the Waynesboro, Tuscaroroa and Greencastle-Antrim school boards where more than 20 candidates are trying to win positions on the boards.

Polls are open until 8 tonight.

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