The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

November 5, 2013

Polls ready; Voters?

Low turnout expected this Election Day

MERCER COUNTY — Election Day had an earlier wake-up call for poll workers than for most citizens who began voting at 7 a.m. today. Before any voters showed up, eight machine custodians fanned out across the county at 6 a.m. to be ready in case of trouble, said Jeff Greenburg, Mercer County elections director.

Judges of election and others made sure machines were operating properly but custodians would be able to respond quickly to any precinct in their zones if minor problems cropped up.

“The first hour, you hold your breath waiting for any calls,” said Greenburg.” “We’ve worked hard to prepare and we’ve been fortunate to have very few problems for the last five or six years. Once you take care of any initial problems, the day usually moves along routinely.”

The most important success of the day might also be measured by how many voters participate. Estimating that number in advance, Greenburg said, is a mix of experience and educated guesses.

“I don’t see anything atypical with this ballot. I don’t have any sense that any race is creating a buzz significant enough that it would affect what would be a typical turnout.”

Greenburg said the races for common pleas court judge and county treasurer at the top of the local ticket have been generating interest as expected because they are county races and both are contested.

Candidates Dan Wallace and Vic Heutsche who are running for judge and Marci Radcliffe and Ginny Richardson who are running for treasurer have been advertising and covering the local fairs and appearing at other community events as candidates do to present themselves to voters.

Judge Christopher St. John has no opponent but is running for retention which gives voters a yes or no choice on his bid for another 10-year term.

Controller Tom Amundsen doesn’t have an opponent on the ballot today.

In municipal races, there are four candidates seeking three seats for Sharon City Council. Two candidates are running for Hermitage treasurer.

“Every race is important and generates its share of interest,” Greenburg said, “but I can’t look at the ballot and say, ‘This race or that race might add a couple of percentage points to the turnout.”

Greenburg said citizens would do well to remember that local governments and school boards have taxing power to reach into purses and wallets and that should motivate more people to participate during local elections.

“Voters have a tendency to focus more on who’s running for president or governor than on local government. I think it should be the opposite when it comes to paying attention and participating in elections.”

History and statistics usually provide the best gauge of how many people will make it to the polls on election day.

The most recent local election in 2011 saw about 24,500 of the county’s registered voters cast ballots, a turnout of about 32 percent.

However, that election cycle had a different slate of countywide candidates. In addition to a race for judge, candidates ran for a greater number of county row offices including district attorney, commissioner, sheriff, recorder, clerk of courts and prothonotary.

Four years ago when the slate of candidates included two row offices as well as school district and municipal candidates, about 20,850 voters went to the polls, registering a turnout of about 25 percent.

“Local elections in the cycle that has more county row offices on the ballot draw a few more voters to the polls,” Greenburg said.

He said he’s expecting a turnout percentage in the high 20s by the time polls close at 8 p.m.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Better security Grant available to boost security in district courts

    County officials are looking to quickly upgrade security systems in the five district judge offices, not due to an increase in risk, but because current systems are antiquated and there is a short window to apply for some financial help with the costs.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officials split over selling older monitors

    What to do with a pile of older LCD computer monitors, keyboards and mice remains up in the air until the third, and often absent, county commissioner makes a decision.

    July 24, 2014

  • Police anxious to talk with victim

    Sharon police want to talk to a West Hill man about several other men who came to his house shortly before he was shot and critically wounded Tuesday.

    July 24, 2014

  • AED presentation Heart-friendly pool

    The Lackawannock-Shenango-West Middlesex Pool has some pretty obvious changes from when it was opened almost 46 years ago.

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • Sharon man 'stable' after being shot in his West Hill home

    A Sharon man was in stable condition this morning after being shot by one of several men he had let into his West Hill home, police said.

    July 23, 2014

  • GJR killer not eligible for parole, court rules

    State Superior Court on Tuesday reversed a local judge’s decision that the sentence for one of two men who killed a night supervisor at George Junior Republic, Pine Township, was unconstitutional.

    July 23, 2014

  • Duplicated files, former worker confesses

    A Mercer woman accused of stealing customer lists, billing information and other data from her former employer headed off trial Monday by pleading guilty to a charge of unlawful duplication.

    July 23, 2014

  • Starved house Vandals vent their emotions

    Vandals kept police busy Sunday and Monday nights at a home in Greenville where the Mercer County District Attorney’s office said a boy was starved and beaten by his mom.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Couple, another man charged in thefts

    Pennsylvania State Police have filed charges of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief against an East Palestine, Ohio, couple and another man in connection with two robberies in rural Mercer County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Taking stock Where’s the beef? Bull’s still missing

    Is it possible that an alien abduction took place in the Mercer area last week? A solid red, 2-year-old Watusi bull with 3-foot-long horns has been missing since July 14 with no trace of its existence left on earth.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Buhl Day honorees

    The Buhl Day committee has chosen for this year’s celebration five honored guests whose volunteer work they feel best showcases the legacy of philanthropic work left behind by Frank and Julia Buhl a century ago.

    July 22, 2014

  • GC pair not hurt in accident injuring 2

    Two drivers were taken to a hospital after an accident at the intersection of state routes 965 and 173 in Worth Township, police said.

    July 21, 2014

  • WaterFire crowds WaterFire doused

    Sharon’s WaterFire wasn’t lacking either of its elements on Saturday. There was steady, day-long rain but the day concluded with the Shenango River ablaze.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘Starved’ boy released from hospital

    A 7-year-old boy allegedly starved and beaten by his mother is out of the hospital and ordered out of his Greenville home by Mercer County Common Pleas President Judge Thomas R. Dobson.

    July 20, 2014

  • WaterFire walking tour Time traveling

    A group of more 50 people walked between the raindrops Saturday during an historical tour of downtown Sharon during the city’s WaterFire celebration.

    July 20, 2014 6 Photos 1 Story