Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pennsylvania Roundup #1

Cumberland County

Midstaters are out early to vote in the 2008 general election today to select the 44th president and cast votes in congressional, state and local races.

In Cumberland County, Kim Holt started the line at 5:20 a.m. in Hampden Township's 4th Precinct at St. Timothy Lutheran Church, 4200 Market St. She was joined at 6:05 a.m. by her friend, Dottie Fitton.

York County

Voters were waiting at the Newberry Township municipal building when the poll workers arrived at 6 a.m. today.

About 40 voters were waiting in line around 11 a.m. this morning, according to a township resident. Four poll workers were checking people in. In the first three hours, 900 out of about 1,800 registered voters had cast a ballot for presidential, congressional and state offices.

Penn State Main Campus

A voting rights advocate says hundreds of Penn State students are being forced to vote by provisional ballot.

James Browning of Common Cause said today that election workers are not checking supplemental registration books for the names of Penn State students who registered just before the deadline.

Someone who votes by provisional ballot could be required to appear at the courthouse at a later date to vouch for their identity if they want their vote to count.

Dauphin County

About 20 percent of the 346 voters in Harrisburg's 1st Ward, 1st Precinct had voted by 8 a.m. at the Comfort Inn Riverfront in the Shipoke neighborhood. The line was gone after that first hour.

"We have a really strong early showing," said Judge of Election Joseph O'Connor. "People seemed very motivated to vote," he said.

At 7 a.m., the line was out the door. "My sense now is it will be steady through the rest of the day," O'Connor said.

Allegheny County

Wolocik says he expects 75 percent turnout in heavily populated Allegheny County, slightly higher than turnout in recent presidential elections.

Lehigh and Northampton Counties

Earlier this morning, Sterner said Lehigh County's early turnout had been "phenomenal," with "an hour to two-hour waits all over the place."

In Northampton County, the lines were long and hundreds of people had to file provisional ballots because their registrations couldn't be verified, but election officials said they passed their first big test – the morning rush.

As the frenzy eased by 11 a.m., Northampton County Chief Registra's Erney said the county's 149 voting district saw relatively few problems beyond the hundreds of new and unverified registrants who had to file provisional ballots.

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