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Voter turnout expected to be low Tuesday in Centre County

Twenty-five contested races will be decided by registered voters in Centre County when the polls open at 7 a.m., and despite a few contentious races and a clear November weather report, there’s still little chance of seeing a big turnout.

Out of the 107,959 residents registered to vote in Tuesday’s municipal election, only about 15 percent — roughly 16,000 — are expected to cast their ballots, according to projections from the Centre County Elections Office.

Among the races that might garner the most action are in State College, where Democrat Elizabeth Goreham is looking for her second term as mayor against Republican challenger Ron Madrid.

Goreham, first elected to Borough Council in 1997, is the first woman to hold the office in State College. Madrid, a retired Marine Corps officer and naval aviator, has served on several commissions and associations, including eight years on the State College Planning Commission as chairman and co-chairman.

Also expected to bring out voters is the Penns Valley Area School District board of directors race, in which eight candidates are running for five seats. Vice President Chris Houser, H. Mark Benfer and David S. Braucht are competing for two at-large, four-year seats.

Joseph Ebeling and Jeffrey Hyde, also newcomers, are vying for one at-large, two-year seat. Victoria L. Brennan is looking to unseat incumbent Amy Niewinski for a seat representing Millheim. Incumbent Henry Hank Yeagley is running unopposed for the seat representing Gregg Township.

Other contested races are for borough councils in State College, Bellefonte and Howard.

Township races include Benner, Boggs, College, Ferguson Gregg, Halfmoon, Harris, Liberty, Marion, Patton, Spring and Walker.

Besides Penns Valley, other school board races are in the Bald Eagle, Bellefonte and Philipsburg-Osceola areas.

Finally, one district judge seat is contested in downtown State College, where Republican Susan Bardo is up against Democrat Steven Lachman.

Tuesday’s weather is supposed to be mostly sunny with a high of 52, according to AccuWeather.com. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Identification is required for first-time voters or those who have a new precinct.

For more information, visit www.votespa.com.

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