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Write-in votes affect local PA primaries

June 1, 2011

In the Pike County Commissioners’ primary race, write-in votes put a Republican candidate, Pam Lutfy, who lost to fellow Republican candidates Rick Caridi and Matt Osterberg, on the Democratic ticket opposite incumbent Karl Wagner, who ran unopposed.

In Shohola Township, incumbent supervisor Greg Hoeper, a Democrat who won 158 votes in the primary against his Democratic opponent Brad Dellert, who garnered 96 votes, also received 169 write-in votes from Republicans. This comes as a surprise, since Hoeper has been publicly vilified at township meetings for supporting the removal of Don Wall from his position as zoning officer. Wall is the target of a county grand jury investigation.

In the Damascus Township primary race in Wayne County, supporters of Dolores Keesler gave her 97 write-in votes from Democrats and 77 from Republicans. Keesler, the former Damascus Township representative and 2011 chair of the Upper Delaware Council, was removed by a vote initiated by Damascus supervisor Joe Canfield, whom she will oppose in the November election.

In the Wayne County District Attorney primary race, Republican Janine Edwards, who received 3,118 votes against her Republican opponent Mike Lehutsky with 2,646 votes, also received 623 write-in votes from Democrats. Lehutsky received 328 Democrat write-in votes. Edwards is the sole candidate for district attorney in November.

Partial information

How many votes did Canfield receive, both write-in as well as cast in the usual way? Why do we get half the story here? How can one use this information to form a theory on the fall election when Ms. Keesler is the only candidate with a given vote tally? We expect impartial reporting on this rather interesting local election. That would indicate the need for reporting on both candidates fairly. Let's start doing that.

For a write-in campaign, Ms. Keesler demonstrated some clout. How many people voted for supervisor in Damascus? What were the percentages received by each candidate? We have the opportunity to watch democracy in action in Damascus this summer and fall.