Greene election draws light turnout

November 6, 2013
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Bob Niedbala / Observer-Reporter
Voters at the polls normally have to pass through a crowd of people handing out campaign literature, but that wasn’t the case Tuesday. Alyssa Corfont was the only person at the polls at Waynesburg Ward III, passing out cards for her mother, Linda Corfont, who was running for Waynesburg Borough tax collector. Order a Print
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Bob Niedbala / Observer-Reporter
Only one person was found handing out campaign literature Tuesday afternoon at the polls at Waynesburg Ward I. Beth Barnhart was handling out cards asking people to write in the name of her husband, Kevin Barnhart, for a seat on the Central Greene School Board representing the borough. Only one candidate appeared on the ballot for the two borough seats available. Kevin Barnhart had been appointed to the board to fill a vacancy in May. Order a Print

WAYNESBURG – Election officials predicted a light turnout for Tuesday’s municipal election and those predictions proved true.

Most voters in Greene County apparently found other things to do than to make it to the polls. According to the Greene County Department of Elections and Voter Registration, 5,397 voters, 24.4 percent of the 22,079 registered to vote, cast ballots.

For many voters, the ballots presented few choices.

The only race for a countywide office, which was for sheriff, had been decided in the spring when Brian Tennant defeated two other candidates and won both the Democratic and Republican nominations.

Coroner Gregory Rohanna, a Democrat, had run unopposed in the spring and secured both nominations. The same was true for District Judge Lee Watson in the third magisterial district covering Carmichaels, Greensboro and Rices Landing boroughs and Cumberland, Dunkard, Greene and Monongahela townships.

County Commissioner Blair Zimmerman visited a number of polling places throughout the day.

“It was really slow,” he said. “Everywhere I went people were saying the turnout was way down.”

The ballot just didn’t include any ”big races,” Zimmerman said. “Maybe if there had been a sheriff’s race, people would have come out for that.”

Voters did decide a race for Superior Court judge and voted on several appellate judges’ retentions, but those failed to create much interest. Most people probably knew very little about the judge candidates, Zimmerman said.

Voters in the Carmichaels Area School District did decide a race for school board in which five candidates vied for four open seats.

According to unofficial results for all 44 precincts reporting, the winners were Ed McIntire, 630 votes; Richard Krause, 628 votes; Jason Voithofer, 609 votes; and Pete Shlosky, 496 votes. The losing candidate was Sean Shea, who had 409 votes.

A write-in candidate created a race in each of the West Greene and Central Greene school districts. Write-in votes were not tallied Tuesday night and won’t be available until later, though a review of election results showed the races close.

Daniele Frye ran a write-in campaign for the single seat open on the West Greene School Board representing Gray, Richhill and Jackson townships. Mary Jane Kent had won both nominations in the spring for the seat.

Bridgett Montgomery also ran a write-in campaign for the single board seat on the Central Greene School Board representing Perry, Wayne and Whiteley townships. Mark Leidecker had won both nominations in the spring.

Mike Ames also received a number of write-in votes in Central Greene representing Franklin and Washington townships, though not enough write-in votes were cast for him to top John Jacobs, who had won both nominations in the primary. Kevin Barnhart also ran a write-in campaign for an uncontested board seat in Waynesburg.

Races for borough council, township supervisor and tax collector appeared in seven municipalities. The unofficial results for those races are as follows:

In Aleppo Township, David Logan defeated Leslie R. Dulaney for supervisor in a 59 to 30 vote.

In Greene Township, Rodney G. Buttars defeated Sarah Sally Henry for supervisor in a 66 to 50 vote.

In Greensboro, voters elected three council members from five candidates. The winners were Tom Flynn, 41 votes; Shawn McManis, 39 votes; and Todd Perry, 37 votes. Travis P. Barkley and Brianna W.B. Barkley received 14 votes each.

In Jackson Township, Raymond Kiger defeated Dennis Blouir for supervisor in a 62 to 26 vote.

In Morgan Township, Jean Sowden Redman defeated Susan Novak for tax collector, 260 to 120.

In Springhill Township, Bruce Johnson defeated Burl Hughes for supervisor, 76 to 38.

In Waynesburg, Mary Jane McClure defeated Linda Lydia Corfont for tax collector, 209 to 157.

Tina Kiger, elections office director, said the election went smoothly and no problems were reported at the polls. The only concern was the turnout. “It was a little on the light side,” she said.

The elections office will tally votes today from the 136 absentee ballots it received. It will begin the canvas Friday, during which write-in votes will be counted.

Bob Niedbala worked as a general assignment reporter for the newspaper for 27 years in the Greene County bureau. He received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Pittsburgh.

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