Voter turnout light to moderate; poll problems few

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Voter turnout has been light to moderate this morning and afternoon in Allegheny County.

Balloting guru Mark Wolosik, director of the Allegheny County Elections Division, yesterday prognosticated a turnout of about 40 percent of registered voters in the county.

Critics called the estimate high. Few people, though, challenged the prediction because there is no scientific way to call it, he said.

"Since we don't have any data base [tailored for predictions], you have to rely on anecdotal information," Mr. Wolosik said this afternoon.

What these anecdotes have said so far is, "It is quiet, light to moderate," Mr. Wolosik said.

Voters who did turn out were braving temperatures expected to peak in the low 40s.

They included the two top contestants in the area's biggest race, the battle for Pittsburgh mayor. Democratic incumbent Luke Ravenstahl and Republican challenger Mark DeSantis cast ballots this morning.

Few problems have been reported at polling places. There have been no reports of serious malfunctions or troubles.

At elections court, where judges stand by to preside over immediate cases, no complaints were reported until nearly two hours into the election. The biggest deal was a report of electioneering at a Brackenridge precinct where campaigners wore T-shirts bearing a candidate's name inside a polling place.

By comparison, during a presidential election year, the court's phones already are ringing by the time the polls open, a county solicitor said.

There are 1,320 precincts with 6,500 poll workers across the county.


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