Voter turnout expected to be high in Pennsylvania primary election

April 14, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH |

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Voter turnout is expected to be high, but choices in local races few, when polls open for Pennsylvania’s primary election on Tuesday, April 24.

Franklin County, Pa., election officials anticipate the presidential race could drive voters to the polls from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. However, races for state office-holders representing the county feature mostly unopposed incumbent candidates.

State lawmakers who filed for re-election include Todd Rock, a Republican who represents the 90th House District; Richard Alloway, a Republican who represents the 33rd Senate District; and Rob Kauffman, a Republican who represents the 89th House District.

U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., filed to appear on ballots for another term. Serving for 10 years, Shuster represents all or part of 15 counties, including Franklin and Fulton, in southcentral Pennsylvania.

In Pennsylvania’s primary elections, Republicans and Democrats can only vote for members of their own party. The general election is Nov. 6.

Voter turnout in 2008, the last presidential primary, was 35 percent in Franklin County, according to Chief Registrar Jennie Aines.

Political newcomer Susan Spicka, who lives in the Borough of Shippensburg, is a Democrat who will appear on ballots for the 89th House District. She is challenging Kauffman for his seat.

Some challengers have announced write-in campaigns after not obtaining enough valid nominating signatures to appear on ballots.

Greencastle, Pa., resident Sheldon Schwartz announced last week he is seeking Democratic write-in votes for the 90th House District.

James B. “Jim” Taylor of Mercersburg, Pa., is running a write-in campaign for the state Senate seat held by Alloway.

Independent candidate Karen Ramsburg of Mercersburg, Pa., wants to unseat Shuster, as does Republican Travis Schooley from Quincy Township, Pa.

Two polling places have changed in Franklin County. Voters in the Borough of Mercersburg will go to Trinity United Church of Christ at 129 E. Seminary St., and voters from the Peters-4 precinct will go to St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church at 8835 Lemar Road outside Greencastle, Pa., Deputy Chief Clerk Jean Byers said.

Because of Pennsylvania’s new voter-identification law, voters will be asked for a photo ID at the polls. Identification is not actually required until November.

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