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Armstrong officials expect high turnout on Election Day

| Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, 12:02 a.m.
Louis B. Ruediger
Armstrong County employee Paul Kijowski shows one of the 10 bell systems that will be used to assist the elderly and handicapped voters outside some of the county's polling places today. Monday November 5, 2012 Louis B. Ruediger | Leader Times

The political parties and the conservatives and the liberals and those in-between have been disagreeing for months about the best direction for the country and the state.

Now it is Election Day and they've decided that they can agree on this: People are going to come out to vote in large numbers for their candidates.

And both sides are thrilled to have the voters come out.

“The turnout will be typical of presidential years — high,” said Armstrong County Democrat Chuck Pascal. “People in Armstrong County, like the rest of the country, are excited for the opportunity to cast their vote.”

Pascal believes the election is a referendum of fairness for the middle class and says Democrats will turn out to vote.

Armstrong County Republican Party Chairman Mike Baker said his party will have a great turnout in the county for this presidential election which pits President Obama against Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

“We've got the message out, knocked on more doors and made more phone calls than ever before,” said Baker.

“People who have never helped with a campaign before have come to us with ‘What can I do?' They feel that strongly about electing Romney as their president.”

Armstrong County Director of Elections Wendy Buzard said on Monday she now predicts a 65 percent or better turnout of voters in the county. Earlier she predicted a 45 percent turnout.

“Based on the absentees and the interest that seems to be out there, I just think a large number of people will come out,” said Buzard.

There are more than 42,000 registered voters in the county of about two dozen political parties. Republicans, with more than 20,000 registered voters, hold a lead of nearly 3,000 over Democrats, who register more than 17,000.

Buzard said the county's electronic voting machines are in good working order.

The machines were moved to the county's 68 polling places on Monday and are ready to go.

There are no changes in the polling places for this election and they are fully staffed with election workers at each location, according to Buzard.

Polling places opened at 7 a.m. and will close at 8 p.m.

Locations and maps of polling places, as well as election night results, can be found at the county's Web site at www.co.armstrong.pa.us.

Mitch Fryer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303 or mfryer@tribweb.com.

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