There weren't many surprises in Tuesday's municipal election, according to the unofficial results, which show Republicans David Keller and John Flannery leading the Franklin County Commissioner race, followed by Democrat Bob Ziobrowski.
As of 11 p.m., write-in votes had not been confirmed by name, but it appeared write-in candidate Republican Bob Thomas didn't have enough to get him back on the board.
About 28 percent of registered voters across Franklin County took to the polls Tuesday to cast their ballots, with individual precinct turnout ranging from about 13 percent to 43 percent.
Unofficially, Flannery was the top vote getter in the commissioner race with 16,365 votes as of 11 p.m. Tuesday. Keller followed with 16,189, with Ziobrowski having 6,441. Sheri Morgan followed with 5,485. The top three vote getters are elected as commissioners.
Many of the candidates on ballots across the county ran unopposed.
Countywide, the only face-off on the ballot other than the commissioner's race was for register and recorder, with Linda Miller, a Republican who now holds the office, challenged by Democrat Damien Buhrman. Miller won convincingly, according to unofficial results.
Otherwise, Mary Beth Shank won both the Republican and Democratic nominations in May for judge in the 39th Judicial District of the Court of Common Pleas, which covers Franklin and Fulton counties; Republican Todd Rock ran unopposed for clerk of courts; Republican Harold Wissinger sought re-election as controller; Jeff Conner sought re-election for coroner; Republican Matt Fogal was up for re-election as district attorney; and Republican Timothy S. Sponseller for prothonotary.
Dane Anthony earned both the Republican and Democratic nominations for sheriff in the primary election, leaving him unopposed on the ballot.
In Washington Township, voters had three options for two seats on the Board of Supervisor: Incumbent
C. Stewart McCleaf, a Republican who cross-filed; and newcomers Travis Gladhill, a Democrat; and Dan DeDona, a Republican, who were seeking a seat left vacant by Elaine Gladhill, who didn't seek re-election.
Unofficial results indicate McCleaf and DeDona came out on top.
Also on the ballot were school directors Linda Zimmerman (cross-filed) and Karen Herald (cross-filed).
In the Borough of Waynesboro, Republican Incumbent Councilpersons Patrick Fleagle, Dade Royer and Michael Cermak were unopposed; and newcomer Jon Fleagle, who cross-filed for the seat of Niccole Rolls, who opted not to seek re-election. Also on the ballot was school director Cynthia Sullivan.
In Antrim Township, incumbent Supervisor Rick Baer, a Republican, faced off against Connie Slye, a Democrat. Baer had a healthy advantage according to Tuesday's results.
On the ballot for Greencastle Borough Council were incumbents Joel Amsley and H. Duane Kinzer, both Republicans and Wade Burkholder, a Democrat; and newcomer Jeremy Layman, a Democrat.
Five people were seeking four seats on the Greencastle-Antrim School Board, including current Republican board members Tracy Baer, Mike Still, Shannon Yates; Lindsey J. Mowen; and Shannon Blanchard, who cross-filed; as well as newcomer H. Carter Davidson, who cross-filed.
A slow start
"It's been very slow this morning," Evie Cook, election judge at Waynesboro 3-1 at Calvary Assembly of God in Waynesboro, said Tuesday. "I don't know where the voters are. It's very important for them to come out and cast their votes and show their support."
According to Cook, the location has more than 900 registered voters, of which only 34 had participated by 10:30 a.m. "On average, we get about 100 voters who come out," she added.
Across town, a different story unfolded at the Rouzerville Community Center. "It's been consistently busy. People have just been coming in and out," said Joe Bradley, election judge at Washington Township's second ward. "I've been doing this for three years now and it seems like this location is always busy."
As of 11 a.m., 155 voters had visited the polling place, which Bradley says is right on target. "It's lighter than the presidential elections, but its been steady."
On the opposite end of Route 16, poll workers at Grace United Church of Christ in the Borough of Greencastle observed a similar response as Rouzerville. with more than 100 voters turning out to cast ballots shortly after the polls opened at 7 a.m.
"We are moving right along," said John Rishel, election judge in the borough's first ward. "We had people here when we opened the doors; were not doing too bad here."
A topic of conversation at polls Tuesday was the new voting system.
Earlier this year, Franklin County Commissioners approved a $764,364 purchase of new voting machines following a mandate by Gov. Tom Wolf, which requires all voting machines across the state to be replaced before the 2020 election with models that leave a paper trail.
The move came after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security claimed hackers attempted to access state voter databases.
Although Franklin County has been using paper ballots, officials were required by the new legislation to upgrade machines or risk having their machines de-certified.
"They have been working just fine," Bradley said of the new technology. "Voters have been able to use them well and they do a good job of making sure the ballots are properly filled out."
A useful feature of the new machines, Bradley said, is the ability for the machine to read the write-in candidates names. "The machines scans the box in and takes a picture of it to be tallied later," he explained. "It saves us a lot of time here at the end of the day."