Published: Monday, May 14, 2007
Voting in Mercer County is simplified, director says
State law does not require the printing of candidate's names in newspapers.
By MARY GRZEBIENIAK
MERCER, Pa. Mercer County voters should find electronic voting a little simpler Tuesday.
Jeff Greenburg, director of Registration and Elections, said voters will see only one race per screen when they go to the polls for the municipal primary election.
Last fall, voters saw a split screen with different races on it. He said he requested the change be included in ballot design done by Election Systems & Software, the Nebraska company that sold the county the machines and designs the ballots.
He explained that he was concerned because a Florida county that uses the same iVotronic touchscreen machines had problems when the gubernatorial and congressional races were on the same page.
Nearly 18,000 people who voted did not cast a ballot in that congressional race. This was thought to be due, in part, to voters failing to notice the congressional race.
Greenburg said that for county voters next month, the first page that will come up on the machine will be the Pennsylvania Supreme Court candidates.
Once a vote is registered in that race, another race will come up, and so on. But only one race will be displayed on any page to minimize the possibility of voters skipping over any race, he said.
Greenburg added that the county will save about $9,000 by not advertising the names of all primary election candidates in two local newspapers as has been done in previous years.
He said he checked with the Department of State and found that the law does not require that candidates' names be advertised before the primary election.
He said that only the ballot questions, polling places and voting hours must be advertised.
"The money is not justified if the law doesn't require it," Greenburg said. Candidates names are, however, required to be advertised before the November general election.
He said residents can find the list of candidates' names by going to the county Web site, www.mcc.co.mercer.pa.us, and clicking on "Government offices," then "Election-Registration" to find a link to 2007 candidate listings.
They can also visit the election office at the courthouse or call the office at (724) 662-3800 if they would like a list mailed to them.