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Slow day at the polls

| Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2007

The weather was cold and the snowflakes started blowing yesterday. Many believe the wintery weather affected the turnout in Tuesday's General Election.

In many areas of the Fay-West, voter turnout was low.

In Dunbar, Ruth Eans, a judge of elections stationed at the Dunbar Volunteer Fire Department, wasn't really surprised by the low number of voters who had visited to cast their votes.

"We were expecting a lot of that because of the weather," Eans said.

The National Weather Service out of Pittsburgh reported yesterday's low temperatures in the 30s with snow flurries and wind gusts as high as 25 miles per hour.

Eans said with no big races, voters normally don't come out.

"And a lot of the older people don't like the (voting) machines," said Eans.

Charles Anderson, a judge of elections at Ward One at the Uniontown VFW, said he observed turnout lower than what was expected. However, the crowd flow was consistent throughout the day.

"I wasn't expecting anything," Anderson said.

But over in neighboring Scottdale, Westmoreland County, voter turnout was better than one judge of election anticipated.

"We've had a good turnout," said Bruce Stiehm, a judge of elections at the Scottdale Church of Christ. "It's been better than usual."

While Stiehm said that bad weather is sometimes an issue with voter turnout, the fact that there was a race in one Scottdale Ward and residents were voting for school board candidates helped.

"It's a real pleasure to see people coming out," Stiehm said.

Stiehm said normally there's a bigger push near the end of the day with voters arriving after work to beat the 8 p.m. deadline.

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