Turnout low as polls close in today's election



Turnout at polling places has been light so far — and so have the problems, Mark Wolosik, division manager of the Allegheny County Division of Elections said this evening.

But before talking about what went wrong, Mr. Wolosik was eager to discuss what went right.

“We have 1,319 election districts in 850 locations and over 6,000 people are involved in the process. Except for some glitches that I’m aware of, people voted today,” Mr. Wolosik said. “It’s a pretty big endeavor.”

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Not to mention, Mr. Wolosik noted, poll workers have to get up pretty darn early.

“There’s a lot of people involved in it and you’re dependent upon everyone to show up at 6 o’clock in the morning,” Mr. Wolosik said.

“Everyone didn’t,” he added. “C’mon, 6,500 people.”

A custodian was late to arrive at one polling place on the North Side — Allegheny United Methodist Church on West North Avenue.

Election workers waiting there lent an old-fashioned touch to the proceedings: They gave four voters paper ballots.

“You can vote on emergency paper ballots that are then a valid ballot that is counted,” Mr. Wolosik said.

TRACK RESULTS: Follow the county-by-county tally on our Primary Election page

A judge of election overslept and got to the Mount Washington Senior Center late. Paper ballots were used there, too, for three or four voters, Mr. Wolosik said.

Beyond that, there were no wrinkles Mr. Wolosik had to report about the elections process, which left him — and voters — happy.

“It’s nice,” Mr. Wolosik said. “You let me say the good things.”

Turnout was expected to be low as voters choose nominees for governor, lieutenant governor, Congress and the Legislature. Only registered Democrats and Republications are permitted to vote.

Around mid-morning, Allegheny County sheriff's deputies went to a polling place on the North Side to stop someone reportedly handing out sandwiches and doughnuts to voters there.

Common Pleas Judge Paul E. Cozza of Allegheny County, who is heading Election Court this morning, signed an order reflecting a law that says pollsters and others can't supply food to voters.

It appears the polling station at the Pressley Street High Rise is a repeat offender. The same polling place landed in the news this time last year because someone was handing out hoagies, assistant county solicitor Dennis R. Biondo said.

Polls closed at 8 p.m.


First Published May 20, 2014 7:11 AM

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