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Low voter turnout expected in W. Pa.

| Sunday, May 19, 2013, 12:31 a.m.

Registered Democrats and Republicans will go to the polls Tuesday to nominate candidates for the Nov. 5 general election.

Turnout is expected to be low, between 20 percent and 25 percent of those eligible, according to elections officials in the Alle-Kiski Valley's four counties.

Turnout in the primary following a presidential election year is traditionally low, said James Montini, director of Westmoreland County elections.

Turnout among Democrats in Allegheny County is expected to be higher, around 35 percent, said Mark Wolosik, elections division manager. The Pittsburgh mayor's race, in which the winner of the Democratic primary is almost assured of election in November, is expected to increase turnout.

Voters will nominate candidates for judge of the Superior Court, a statewide appellate court, and select nominees for county judges across the state.

Voters also will choose candidates for the Nov. 5 election for local offices, such as district attorney, coroner, mayor, city and borough council, township supervisor, and school board directors.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For the third straight election, voters will be asked — but not required — to show photo identification. In February, the Commonwealth Court extended an injunction preventing the state's voter-identification law from being enforced during Tuesday's primary.

A court case to decide if the voter-identification law will be fully implemented is scheduled for July.

Those voting in person at a new polling place or for the first time on Tuesday will be required to show identification — with or without a photo.

Primary elections in Pennsylvania are held on the third Tuesday of May every year except presidential election years, when they are held on the fourth Tuesday of April. General elections are always held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

Pennsylvania primary elections are closed, meaning a person must be a member of the party to vote for that party's candidate. Candidates receiving the highest number of votes in the primary election will represent their party in the general election.

In West Franklin and Worthington, Armstrong County, all voters will be able to vote on a referendum asking if they favor enacting a library tax. The 1-mill levy would support the Worthington-West Franklin Community Library.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 orbrittmeyer@tribweb.com.

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