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Decision time arrives for voters

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Carter Kinley, of Howard, spent the day before an election the same way he has since 2003: delivering materials to precincts throughout the county in preparation for voting the next day.

Kinley began at 6:30 a.m. Monday and delivered electronics and other election materials to 15 precincts before finishing at about 4:45 p.m.

“When I leave a precinct, they’re good to go for the election,” Kinley said.

The precincts supplied by Kinley, along with polling places across Pennsylvania, will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Fair to low turnout is expected in Centre County, said Joyce McKinley, director of the Centre County Office of Elections and Voter Registration. A slate of contested elections on ballots will spur turnout, she said, and weather is not expected to be an issue.

“It’s going to be a nice, sunny day and I’d like to encourage the voters to turn out,” McKinley said.

There is not a chance of rain in the forecast and the day will start chilly, with temperatures in the 30s, but will reach the 60s by the afternoon, AccuWeather meteorologist Tom Kines said.

The gubernatorial election between incumbent Republican Gov. Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf headlines Tuesday’s ballot.

At the federal level, the 5th Congressional District race pits Republican Rep. Glenn Thompson, seeking his fourth term in Washington, against Brookville native Kerith Strano Taylor. Winning the district may be a daunting task for Strano Taylor, an attorney and the president of the Brookville Area school board.

Thompson, of Howard Township, won the last three elections by margins of 26 percentage points, 41 percentage points and 16 percentage points, respectively, and a Democrat has not represented the district since the early 1970s.

The state’s 77th Legislative District is also contested this year and features a different configuration of parties represented. Democratic incumbent Rep. Scott Conklin, seeking a fifth term, faces Libertarian Charles Martin.

Of 379 candidates, Martin is just one of three Libertarians and 12 candidates total not affiliated with one of the major parties to officially make the ballot for state or federal positions this election, according to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Elections candidate list.

After redistricting, a segment of Centre County will see a pair of new names on the ballot. Port Matilda, Halfmoon, Taylor and Worth townships and portions of Patton and Ferguson townships were part of the 77th but are now part of the state’s 81st House District.

The race there is contested, yet it’s one the Republican Party cannot lose: Republican incumbent Rep. Mike Fleck faces Huntingdon County Treasurer Richard Irvin, also a Republican. Irvin defeated Fleck in the Republican primary in May. Fleck, who won the Democratic nomination in the primary, will not switch parties if re-elected.

State Sen. Jake Corman and Reps. Kerry Benninghoff and Mike Hanna are running unopposed.

Patton Township residents face a referendum question about open space on the ballot. Voters there are asked if they will authorize the township to borrow $3.5 million to acquire “development rights, conservation easements and land for the preservation of open space.”

Approval would “likely” increase property tax by 0.6 mills, an increase of $42.60 on a home valued at $250,000, according to the agenda for the township supervisors’ Wednesday meeting.

As for Kinley, he will be back at it Tuesday and making his final delivery at 6 a.m. He drops off election supplies at the HUB-Robeson Center on campus, where there are four precincts.

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