Slightly more Dems voted in Westmoreland primary election than Republicans
About a quarter of all Westmoreland County’s registered voters cast ballots in Tuesday’s primary election.
County elections officials said turnout among Democrat and Republican voters was a bit higher than the overall total suggested. The 25% that was reported included nonpartisan and independent voters not permitted to cast ballots.
Elections Bureau director Beth Lechman said nearly 28% of registered Democrats and almost 27% percent of county Republicans cast ballots on Tuesday. About 1,200 more Democrats than Republicans voted during the primary, which featured a slate of contested school board and municipal races.
Republicans had a number of competitive primaries in several county-wide races, including commissioner and sheriff offices in which Democratic candidates were unopposed.
For the first time in decades, the GOP earlier this year surpassed Democrats in registered voters in Westmoreland County. Republicans outnumber Democrats by about 1,500 voters.
Meanwhile, elections officials on Friday morning will begin the official count of the returned ballots. The county’s election board is slated to meet June 3 to issue a pre-certification of the final results, including tallies of write-in candidates. Final certification is scheduled for June 10.
Also Friday, the elections board — which includes retiring Commissioner Charles Anderson and Common Pleas Judges Christopher Feliciani and Meagan Bilik-DeFazio — is expected to view three new voting machines that could be purchased this year and used in November’s general election.
Earlier this month, the county received proposals to replace touch-screen computers used at the polls with new machines that meet a state mandate to provide a paper trail of votes cast.
A proposal from a fourth company, which relied on the use of paper ballots, was rejected for financial reasons, Lechman said.
County commissioners will ultimately determine which system will be purchased later this year.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter .