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Write-in votes might create contested races in Pa.

April 25, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — State lawmakers from Franklin County, Pa., will have to wait several days to learn if they will be part of contested races in November.

Republican lawmakers fared well among voters from their own party in Tuesday’s primary election, but write-in votes by Democrats could create contested races for Nov. 6’s general election.

Write-in votes cast Tuesday will be cumulated and organized by name starting Friday.

“Hopefully, we’ll have that done Monday or Tuesday of next week,” said Jean Byers, deputy chief clerk for Franklin County.

Appearing on GOP ballots were Todd Rock, a Republican who represents the 90th House District; Richard Alloway, a Republican who represents the 33rd Senate District; and Bill Shuster, a Republican who represents the Ninth Congressional District.

All appeared unopposed on ballots, yet write-in campaigns were announced in each race.

Alloway led polling among Republican voters, but Democrats in Franklin County alone cast 1,065 write-in votes in the race. His district also includes Adams County and part of York County.

Challenger James B. “Jim” Taylor of Mercersburg, Pa., is a registered Republican. He asked Democrats to write his name on their ballots for Alloway’s seat.

However, Alloway claimed a “solid victory” in a news release when citing the overall numbers in his favor.

“Today’s results demonstrates the faith that the voters have in what I am doing for the people of this district. I will continue to work for you,” Alloway said in the news release.

State Rep. Rob Kauffman, R-Franklin/Cumberland, faces Democratic challenger Susan Spicka on Nov. 6. She had obtained enough nominating signatures to appear on primary ballots.

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

Byers said election officials were expecting the large number of write-in votes they received. Extra write-in tally sheets were delivered to Guilford Township’s second precinct, which is a large polling place mainly comprised of Penn National community voters.

“They always have terrific turnout, even if it’s light everywhere else,” Byers said.

The election drew 27 percent of county Republicans and 16 percent of Democrats to the polls.

Mitt Romney easily carried Franklin and Fulton counties in the Republican presidential race. President Obama was unopposed on the Democratic ticket.

Tom Smith, who won the Republican nomination in the race for the U.S. Senate, also won by large margins in Franklin and Fulton counties.

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