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Lackawanna Referendum Brings Voters To Polls

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SCRANTON -- Poll workers in Lackawanna County told us that the lines of voters were never long today, but they were steady and turnout was better than last year's primary election.

Voters say it's that county government referendum that had them most engaged, and maybe most confused, this election season.

Ben McGrew hasn't missed an election, primary or general, since he moved to South Abington Township in 1974, a dedication he thinks is lost these days. But he was still pleased to be the 100th voter at his polling place.

"This referendum issue I think is a particularly hot issue and it's going to bring people out that might not otherwise come out."

Poll workers at Heritage Baptist Church near Clarks Summit said the morning was slow but steady and they didn't see just the usual faces. Some independent voters came out to cast a ballot, too, answering whether they want to change Lackawanna County's form of government.

"My feelings are not very positive toward the idea of changing it. There's a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes that you don't hear in the papers," McGrew said.

Voter turnout was also slow but steady elsewhere in the county.   In Eynon some voters weren't sure how they would vote on the referendum when they walked in to the polling place. "I've talked to some people and they're not sure whether to vote yes or whether to vote no. I think it's just due to confusion. But I know how I'm going to vote and my wife knows how she's going to vote," said Thomas Siddons.

Siddons said it was a decision that took some research and careful thought. And it wasn't the only thing that brought out voters here and throughout the 112th state house district where there's a race involving two incumbent representatives.

Karen Smargiassi was voter number 250 there.

"I think that's a good turnout, I think that's good. We have a nice day, I think it's a good day."

Voters in Lackawanna County have to choose if they want to keep the county's three commissioner form of government or change it to a county executive and council form.

Polls close at 8 p.m.