One-third of voters expected at polls for today's election
Elections officials predict slightly more than one-third of registered voters will vote today on a slate of top officials in Allegheny and surrounding counties.
Though these races won't draw as many people to polls as a presidential election, they're important because the winners in local, county and judicial races affect the course of schools, towns and counties for years, overseeing services people rely on, said Ron Ruman, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of State.
"We encourage everyone to go vote because these folks, on a day-to-day basis, really impact your life more than folks in Harrisburg and Washington," Ruman said. "They set your property tax rates, determine the levels of police and fire protection, make sure your streets get plowed. ... These are important offices."
Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Allegheny County Elections Division manager Mark Wolosik predicts between 30 percent and 35 percent of the county's 884,000 voters will turn out. State law requires people voting at polling locations for the first time to bring identification.
Allegheny County voters will choose between Republican D. Raja, 46, of Mt. Lebanon and Democrat Rich Fitzgerald, 52, of Squirrel Hill to succeed two-term incumbent Dan Onorato as county executive. In surrounding counties, voters will decide the control of three-member boards of commissioners. Superior and Commonwealth court races are the only statewide contests.
In the city of Pittsburgh, the Carnegie Library is asking for a 0.25-mill tax increase to generate $3.25 million annually.
Democratic and Republican party organizations kicked off last-minute efforts to drive supporters to the polls.
"The (state Republican Party) has made a significant effort to get out the Republican vote. By partnering with county parties and local candidates, Republicans have knocked on hundreds of thousands of doors and have made nearly double the amount of GOTV phone calls," said state Republican Party Chairman Rob Gleason.
Democrats today plan to dispatch volunteers from six staging areas around Allegheny County to knock on doors. More than 1,000 volunteers spread out in 30 targeted counties over the weekend.
"We think all the candidates on the Democratic tickets have made their case. Now it's time to make sure people get out and vote," said state party spokesman Mark Nicastre.
In a nod to Allegheny County's Democratic 2-to-1 registration advantage, the county executive campaigns' final days featured dueling phone calls from members of the Democratic Flaherty family. Shawn Flaherty, son of the late Mayor Pete Flaherty, recorded a pitch for Raja. His cousin, outgoing Controller Mark Patrick Flaherty, who lost to Fitzgerald in the primary, recorded a message supporting Fitzgerald.
County offices will be open, except for the Department of Court Records, Common Pleas Court and the offices of Sheriff, District Attorney and Treasurer, said county spokeswoman Judi McNeil. State executive branch offices will remain open, Ruman said.
Election Day - November 8, 2011src="http://photos.mycapture.com/PITT/1358438/38760249T.jpg" alt="Election Day - November 8, 2011" title="Election Day - November 8, 2011">
Election Day photos from throughout the region.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Clues to Chief Justice John Roberts’ thinking on new ObamaCare case
- 5 arrested on firearm, drug charges in Spring Hill
- Derry water outage may be resolved by 5 p.m. Sunday, authority says
- Boy with fake gun dies after being shot by Cleveland cop
- Pirates enter Plan B with Martin off market
- Allegheny County adoption event joins 40 children with families
- 153-year-old Venango well pumps out oil, history
- Knoch’s new wrestling coach working hard to build foundation for program
- For Steelers, a fight to finish for playoff berth
- Mears savors success, credits legendary Lange for guidance, inspiration
- Islanders outwork Penguins to sweep back-to-back meetings