York County voting precincts reporting high turnout

David Weissman, Katherine Ranzenberger, Sean Philip Cotter, and John Joyce
York Dispatch

Voting precincts across York County are reporting high voter turnout through the afternoon of Tuesday's primary elections.

Poll workers at St. Paul's Chapel and Red Lion Senior Center saw a slow stream of voters around noon but had reported higher-than-normal numbers in the morning.

Ed Kline, an election official at Red Lion Senior Center, said the center already had its largest turnout ever for a primary vote as of 1 p.m., with approximately 35 percent of 1,500 registered voters already done.

Some voters were forced to wait 35 to 40 minutes during the morning, Kline said.

Hanover: Others in Hanover said the wait was relatively short, ranging from five to 20 minutes. Borough resident Jackie Salmons said she moved quickly through the line at the Hanover Municipal Market House, 210 E. Market St. However, she did have some issues with the voting machines.

"The computer was touchy," Salmons said. "If you held your finger down too long, it moved to the next page."

Most people didn't have any problems with the e-voting machines in place at the Hanover Market. Hanover resident Chuck Fitzgerald said it was easy enough to use, and the workers got the voters in and out of the precinct quickly and efficiently.

"It was definitely busier than normal," Fitzgerald added.

By noon, more than 500 voters had cycled through the Hanover Market precinct.

Yoe: In Yoe, 25 miles northeast of Hanover, 88 voters had been in and out of the Yoe Fire Co. building, 60 E. George St., by 1:30 p.m.

In 2012, there were approximately 400 registered voters in Yoe, according to York County election results. That's about 40 percent of the entire population of the tiny borough in York County.

Daniel Lamb, Democratic committeeman for Yoe, said he had seen a steady stream of people coming through, more than in previous years. He saluted every one of the men and women who came in to make their voices heard, he said.

"For me it's awesome," Lamb said. "When I salute them, it's not a joke. I'm very proud of them. They're all patriots."

Lamb is a veteran, having served 12 years in with the Marine Corps and nine years as an Army reservist. He said saluting people is a sign of respect, and he believes they're all doing their "patriotic duty" by voting.

"That's patriotism," he said. "That's how you show it to the people who represent you."

West Manchester: Early morning voters in West Manchester Township said the 2016 U.S. presidential election is about choosing the "lesser of two evils," though there was disagreement on which candidate that describes.

Linda Mitchell, a lifelong registered Republican, said the need to pick "the best of the worst" makes voting this year so important.

"If you don't vote, you're just giving the election to someone you don't like," she said, after casting her ballot around 7:30 a.m. at the Normandie Ridge Senior Living Community.

Mitchell, who voted for businessman Donald Trump in Tuesday's primary election, said once the Republican front-runner's campaign is over, she believes his showmanship will subside and he'll "get down to business."

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"We need someone not afraid to make decisions," she said. "If you don't vote from him, you'll be giving it to (Democratic candidate) Hillary Clinton."

Thomas Garlin, an independent voter who registered Democrat for the primaries, said he believes former secretary of state Clinton will win, but he voted for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

"It's more of a protest against Hillary," Garlin said of his vote for Sanders, "but I'll vote for her if she wins (the Democratic nomination)."

Garlin said the race between Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich signifies the "death of the Republican party."

The 60-year-old arrived at Normandie Ridge expecting a long wait, but the line remained short enough for voters to get in and out in less than 15 minutes throughout the morning.

"I voted here in 2008, and by 6:30 a.m., it was packed out the door," he said.

Carolyn Daugherty, a teacher and track coach, said she chose to vote before going to work because she wasn't sure she would make it before the polls closed if she waited.

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York City: Inside the Princess Street Center, serving as the York City Ninth Ward's Precinct 1 for Tuesday's primary, Kathleen Rauhauser said she cast her ballot for Clinton.

"This primary has been one of the most active," she said. "And I'm a Democrat. I voted for Hillary and (Joe) Sestak."

Turnout was slow but steady in many of the city's polling precincts, officials said.

A few blocks away, at the Fifth Ward precinct tucked deep inside the YMCA at 90 N. Newberry St., election judge Charles Fasano said turnout was up versus previous presidential primaries. But comparatively speaking, given the number of registered voters in the precinct, turnout was low, he said.

"We have about 1,900 constituents registered," Fasano said.

At 75 names per sign-in sheet, and with four sheets filled by about 4:30 p.m., Fasano was less than optimistic about reaching 400 votes at his precinct by the time the polls closed at 8 p.m.

West York: At the West York Borough First District polling station, inside the Reliance Fire Co. at 1341 W. Market St., turnout was a bit higher. The election judge there, Leslie Keisel, said the after-work crowd would increase the number of votes cast at her location. Some of the issues some voters were having, though, had nothing to do with be willing to vote, she said, but came down to knowing where to vote.

"West Manchester Township wraps around us on three sides," she said. "(Voters) live in West York and think they are supposed to vote at a West York polling place, but no, they are in the township."

In some cases, where a resident votes is determined by which side of the street he or she lives on or how high their house number is, she added.

Back at Princess Street Center, Shannon Mosley encountered just the opposite. Her business, the Lots of Love Learning Center, is located inside the Princess Street Center, but of course Mosley has to vote at the precinct she is assigned to based on where she lives. Inconvenient, maybe, but worth the trouble, Mosley said.

"I think it is important to vote all the time, but this election there are a lot of big issues on the floor," she said.

Among the issues important to Mosley, women's rights ranked first, followed by abortion and regulating Wall Street. And while she said she supports everyone making more money, she said she has concerns as a small business owner about legislating a minimum wage.

"Where are we, the business owners, going to get the money for that," she asked.

Southern York County: Tuesday afternoon in Glen Rock, one name was on many people’s tongues: Trump.

Walking into the Glen Rock Ambulance Co., Janet Phillips said she’ll be glad to vote for him.

“We need a businessman and not a politician,” she said.

She said his rhetoric can be divisive, but it’s not the whole picture.

“I think he’s going to tick a lot of people off internationally, but I think he can do some good,” she said.

Fellow registered Republican Julie Copeland was also voting for Trump, but didn’t feel inspired by him.

“He’s the best of the Republicans,” she said, before adding: “Isn’t that sad?”

Trump was also a major motivating factor for Torry Sullivan, a Democrat voting at Glen Rock — if in a different direction. She said she loves Bernie Sanders but was voting for Hillary Clinton because, Sullivan believes, the Democrats will need an establishment candidate to beat Trump, who leads his party nationally.

“I’m really scared of the Republicans,” she said, heading into the ambulance club with her young son. “Certainly Trump.”

There was no line at the Glen Rock polling place, but election officials said the turnout had been higher than average.

Jacobus: There was a line several miles north at the Goodwill Fire Co. in Jacobus. The queue stretched almost the entire length of the inside of the main room.

Mayor Greg Gruendler said he had waited about half an hour before he was about the cast his ballot for Trump, who he called “the least objectionable candidate” of the options presented to him because of the New York businessman’s decisiveness.

The mayor said he didn’t mind the wait — he was glad to see the high turnout.

“People just want their voice heard this time,” he said.

Fellow Jacobus resident Mark Stetler felt differently about the line.

“It’s crazy,” he said. “I’ve lived here for 20 years and this is the worst I’ve seen it."

But he too waited in line, casting his vote for Sanders. He said he liked Sanders’ consistency and lack of scandals. He was not enthused by the fact that Hillary Clinton will likely be his party’s nominee rather than Sanders.

“If the other candidate wins, it might be the first time in 40 years I don’t vote,” he said.