Voter turnout less than 30 percent
By: MIKE SCHREIBER, Era Associate Editor
Voter turnout was mixed across the region during Tuesday's primary election.
In McKean County - where some voters experienced long waits at polling locations - the voter turnout was 26.11 percent, according to Director of Elections Judy Ordiway.
Of that figure, Ordiway said Wednesday that Republicans had a 32.08 percent voter turnout, while Democrats had 22.47 percent and non-partisan, 3.79 percent.
Voters were faced with a flurry of local municipal races, including for county commissioner, school board, mayor and council. There was also a question regarding Act 1, which determined whether school districts could hike their earned income tax rate.
"I thought it would be higher," Ordiway said, adding that despite some of the long lines, there really wasn't a problem with any of the electronic voting machines. "I think what happened is everybody decided to go (vote) at the same time."
Ordiway said, according to reports, the voter turnout was very light in the early morning on Tuesday, but picked up as the day wore on.
"I didn't get a call about problems with crowds until about a quarter to eight, when a candidate from Bradford called me about it," Ordiway said, noting there were extra machines available to send out to a precinct that was experiencing problems. "We were prepared for it ... but were not notified there was a problem."
By comparison, last year's primary - which featured the use of the electronic machines for the first time - realized a 15 percent voter turnout, according to figures from the elections office.
That primary featured federal and state offices up for election.
In the City of Bradford, there were long lines at G. Carlton Ritchie Hall in the Sixth Ward, Second District, where a dozen voters waited in line to cast their choices after the polls closed at 8 p.m.
There was also a line at times at the Church of the Nazarene in the city's Third Ward, Second District, poll workers said.
Officials said the long lines could be attributed to voters still getting used to the new computers and the large number of decisions facing residents.
Elsewhere across the region, voter turnout in Elk County stood at 32.16 percent and Cameron County at 37.52 percent. The turnout in neighboring Potter County was reportedly around 25 percent.