DALLAS TWP. — Back Mountain residents hit the polls in greater numbers Tuesday than in previous primary elections, according to several polling site administrators.
Whether it was the issues of healthcare, education or jobs that attracted so many voters or the controversial presidential race, polling locations geared up for a busy 12-hour stretch to allow the public to have their say.
James Mulhern, a judge of elections for Kingston Township, said there were 882 voters by 4 p.m. at the Trucksville United Methodist Church on Knob Hill Road in Trucksville.
“We have 3,200 registered voters (for this polling location),” Mulhern said. “The first time Obama ran for president (of the United States) we had a big turnout. We had close to 900 voters then.”
A steady stream of voters filed through the Dallas Township polling station behind the municipal building, said George Kebles, a judge of elections for the township.
“We expect to be busy all day,” Kebles said.
In Dallas Township there are about 2,500 registered voters, he said. By 9:30 a.m., 200 voters came through the doors, Kebles said.
Dallas Township citizens John and Marlene Cacozza came out early to voice their opposition to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare, by voting.
“Obamacare really affected us,” Marlene Cacozza said. “Medicare and Social Security issues are important to us.”
“I feel that (Donald) Trump could make this country strong and unite the country,” John Cacozza said.
Dianne Holtje, the judge of elections at Dallas Borough municipal building, said 330 voters came through by 4 p.m. Tuesday.
“It is the largest voter turnout so far for a primary election,” Holtje said.
The heated presidential race between Republicans Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich and Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders has fueled many voters to be outspoken.
Campaign volunteers for state Rep. Karen Boback, R-Harveys Lake, saw a man kick down one of Trump’s campaign signs outside of the polling center at Harveys Lake Borough’s municipal building.
Nathan Spagnudo, the judge of elections for the borough, was not aware of the incident outside.
Spagnudo focused on handling the large voter turnout. By 4:30 p.m., the polling location at the borough building had 600 residents come out to vote.
“We have over 2,000 registered voters,” he said. “At one point we were averaging about 80 people per hour.”
Jack and Jackie Davis of Harveys Lake wore their red, autographed Trump hats into the borough’s polling station.
“We went to his rally last night (April 25),” Jackie Davis said.
“I like that Trump funded his campaign and does not owe anybody,” Jack Davis said. “The other candidates will have to pay back.”
The couple said Trump is different than other career politicians.
“I am tired of government and county bureaucrats,” Jackie said. “I want issues like the economy, veterans’ issues and women’s concerns to go in a better direction.”
Sherrie Contardi of Lehman Township was one of 332 voters who turned out to the Lehman Township municipal building before 4 p.m. Tuesday.
“I always vote. I am not thrilled with the presidential choices,” she said. “It (the presidential candidates) was the last part of the ballot I filled out.”
Lehman Township resident, Marty Straub said his decision rests on his ability to sort out which candidate provided a believable message.
“You have to read between the lines,” Straub said. “They outline the issues but offer no solutions.”
According to unofficial poll results, Clinton took the Democratic contest, and Trump was the selection on the Republican side for Pennsylvania.
Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews