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2017 Election Day Preview

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It's time for voters to have their say. Tuesday, November 7, is Election Day.

The polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Click here to find your polling location.

More than names are on the ballot in Lackawanna County. There is a question at the top of the ballot. It could affect how much you pay in taxes.

Lackawanna County Court Ruled last week it won't count. We're still waiting to learn the results of an appeal to Commonwealth Court.

This is an issue, a referendum, that can affect every property owner in Lackawanna County. A ballot question asks if the county should borrow up to $13 million to conduct a reassessment.

It would be the first reassessment in Lackawanna County in 50 years. Some property owners would pay more. Some would see their tax bill go down.

Opponents allege things are okay as they are. Those who are for reassessment said fairness is the big issue.

Most states mandate a reassessment every few years. If it does happen in Lackawanna County, a reassessment would take several years to finish.

In Luzerne County, Walter Griffith is attempting a political comeback. The former county controller wants his old job back. Griffith is the Republican nominee.

Back in 2013, Griffith resigned as part of his plea agreement to illegally recording telephone conversations. At the time, Griffith said he didn't know he was doing anything wrong.

Democrat Michelle Bednar has the job now. She is going after her second term in the controller's office. Bednar's bid for reelection is essentially the same as four years ago. She promises to be the financial watchdog for the taxpayers of Luzerne County.

Voter turnout is traditionally low in municipal elections. For example, turnout in the primary here in Lackawanna County was just 31 percent. In Luzerne County, it was about twenty percent.


This election day is what's called a municipal election. The election where you decide who you want in local offices like mayor, council, supervisor, and school director. Some races have a familiar look.

The race for mayor of Scranton is a rematch of what we saw in 2013. Bill Courtright is the Democratic candidate. He is a former tax collector and councilman. Courtright is going for his second term in the mayor's office.

Courtright points to these as his accomplishments-- steady taxes, an improving city financial picture, more street paving and a downtown that`s making a comeback.

Once again, Courtright is opposed by Republican Jim Mulligan. His platform-- focus on job creation and economic growth. Mulligan points to the controversial sale of the sewer authority, saying Scranton City government needs to be more transparent. Four years ago, Courtright won with 55% of the vote.

It's clear Lackawanna County will have a new district attorney next year. The current D.A., Shane Scanlon, who was appointed by a panel of judges in January, couldn't get past the primary in May.

Former Assistant D.A. Gene Talerico captured the Republican nomination. Talerico says his experience as a prosecutor qualifies him for the job.

Talerico is opposed by Democrat Mark Powell. He cruised to the nomination in May, with no opposition in the Democratic primary. Powell is running on a platform of change and new leadership. Republicans have controlled the district attorney's office in Lackawanna County for nearly 50 years.

When voters go to the polls in Lackawanna County, they will have to decide in two high-profile races.

We will see if those local races bring out the voters. No one is expecting numbers like we saw last November, the presidential election when about 70% of the voters in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties came out to cast their ballot.


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