Mayor’s Race and Referendums Draw Out Few Lackawanna Voters

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SCRANTON -- This primary election has a chance to be historic in Lackawanna County, with voters in Scranton picking a new mayor for the first time in twelve years. And county-wide, voters could choose to eliminate four elected offices.

But, it looks like voter turnout was not at a historic high.

A small crowd of candidates, not voters, gathered outside the Keyser Valley Community Center, one of west Scranton's busiest polling places.

When Democratic mayoral hopeful Bill Courtright went to cast his ballot, he had to wait for an open booth. But poll workers think that was the longest line they had all day.

Courtright stayed and shook hands with voters who trickled scranton mayor

"I think the city is ready to see a mayor and council that will work together. We haven't seen them in the recent past so I think the city's more than ready for that," Courtright said.

Voters will choose the first new candidates for mayor in more than a decade. Courtright is joined by Democrats Liz Randol, Lee Morgan, and Joseph Cardamone.

On the Republican ticket, voters will choose between Marcel Lisi and Garett Lewis.

Elections officials expected the mayor's race to bring out more voters. But midday, many polling places were seeing less than 25% of voters. They said that's typical for a primary election.

Turnout didn't stop Democratic mayoral hopeful Liz Randol from stumping for last minute votes at polling places all over Scranton.

"You always have a little bit of butterflies, but I think it's exciting. It's part of democracy, it's one of those things where you work really hard for months and you just hope that people recognize that and appreciate it and cast their ballot for you," Randol said.

People casting ballots elsewhere in Lackawanna County were fewer and farther between. A judge of elections in Dunmore said less than 20% of voters turned out giving poll workers a good amount of down time.

They didn't expect the day to be so slow.

"Because of the referendums, the questions on the back, that really surprised me I thought it would draw a lot more people out," said Judge of Elections Marcia Shoemaker.