Greencastle-Antrim residents exercise their right to vote

Shawn Hardy
Echo Pilot
Virginia Vallillo, left, and her daughter Michael Austin, were among the poll workers at Greencastle Church of the Brethren.

"Busy, busy, busy" is how poll workers described election day at a sampling of locations in Greencastle and Antrim Township on Tuesday.

The results of the presidential election were still up in the air as the Echo Pilot went to press, but high numbers of local residents made their voices count whether in person or via mail-in ballot.

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One man arrived at Greencastle Church of the Brethren at 5:50 a.m. so he could be the first person to vote at the polling place for Greencastle 2, according to Linda Burkholder, judge of elections.

Linda Burkholder, left, judge of elections, and Carolle Patrick, minority inspector, are shown at Greencastle Church of the Brethren.

Before the doors opened at 7 a.m., the line stretched around the corner on South Carlisle Street and a block down East Franklin Street to South Washington Street.

H. Martin "Marty" Zimmerman III has lived in an apartment across the street from the church for 10 years and never before saw a line outside the poll.

He crossed the street around 10 a.m. to vote.

"I think it's part of your civic responsibility ... this is a crucial election," said Zimmerman, a Republican who voted for President Trump.

Dana Divelbiss, a registered independent, declined to say who she was voting for but said, "I vote for the the right person, not on a party line."

From left: Quin, Sarah, Eric and Connor Ambeault were a family divided as they prepared to cast votes for different presidential candidates at the Kauffman Community Center.

Three of the four masked members of the Ambeault family encountered in the parking lot of the Kauffman Community Center, polling place for Antrim 2, revealed who they planned to vote for.

Father Eric and son Quin, were voting for Trump. Mom Sarah was voting for "not so much (Joe) Biden, but a Democrat." Son Connor was still undecided as he walked toward the door.

Sarah Ambeault said her empty nest is filled with her sons home from college due to COVID-19 — Quin, 22, from Lock Haven University and Connor, 19, from Millersville University.

She said they try not to talk about politics at home because it usually ends in an argument, while Quin termed their discussions "heated discourse."

The Kauffman Community Center was swamped with 160 voters in the first hour, according to Connie Keller, judge of elections. She had her hands full helping people who had received mail-in ballots at home, but then opted to vote in person.

"I'm thankful for every single one of them, not matter how busy we are," Keller said.

"Really busy, really busy," is how Judy Mellott, judge of elections at Greencastle Baptist Church, polling place for Antrim 1, described the turnout, which included Pam and Gary Shatzer.

Poll worker Lucy Folino gave Pam and Gary Shatzer 'I VOTED' stickers after they cast their ballots at Greencastle Baptist Church.

"They fought for our right to do this," said Pam Shatzer, who wore a red sweatshirt bearing the words "Loved by a soldier" and a heart with "U.S. Army" written in it.

Gary Shatzer's father was a World War II prisoner of war and Pam Shatzer's father served in the military for 31 1/2 years. Gary's brother was in Vietnam and they have a daughter who is a disabled veteran and a son in the Army.

Lucy Folino handed the Shatzers their "I VOTED" stickers as they turned in their ballots.

Folino has been trying to become a poll worker for a while and was excited to finally get the call this year.

"I feel like election day is my favorite holiday ... we get to say what we want. I just wanted to get involved," said Folino.

"I got the fun job," added Folino, who had handed out about 600 stickers before noon.