SHAMOKIN — Turnout was steady at various polling stations throughout the city on Tuesday as residents cast their ballots on the controversial Home Rule question and whether a study commission should be formed to decide how to best continue moving the city forward financially.
In each of the city’s eight wards, voters came out to express their support — or opposition — to the Home Rule question, which will determine the next step in the city’s recovery process.
“Turnout has been pretty good so far, with most people coming in voting and quietly leaving,” Tim Vincent said at Lincoln Towers, site of the Fourth Ward polling station.
Voters took their civic duty seriously.
“Voting is all about trying to get the best people in there, the ones you think can make a difference and do some good,” said Kevin Mains, of Shamokin.
In the Fourth Ward, majority clerk Linda Long reported that, as of 9:15 a.m., 42 registered voters had cast their ballots.
“It’s been a fairly steady turnout this morning,” judge of elections Sam Nicola said an hour later at the Knights of Columbus building, where residents of the city’s FirstWard were voting. “We’re at about 50 ballots cast already today.”
Voter turnout is historically split, he said, with about half of the constituents coming in the morning and the other half arriving after work in the late afternoon and early evening hours.
One Shamokin resident who is relatively new to the area shared her thoughts after casting her ballot.
“I haven’t been to any of the Home Rule meetings but I understand what they’re trying to accomplish here and how they’re working to get things moving forward,” said Robin Finicle, a Williamsport-area native who moved to Shamokin last November.
“I like living here in the city because I’m able to walk everywhere I need to go,” she added.
As of 1:15 p.m., the ThirdWard polling station at the Northumberland County Career and Arts Center reported that 29 out of a possible 300 constituents had cast their ballots.
At Shamokin’s Fifth Ward polling station at Mother Cabrini Church, voter turnout stood at 76 out of a total of 588 voters as of mid-afternoon.
“I voted ‘no’ (to Home Rule) because more (bigger) government is not what we need,” Shamokin resident Ed Martin said.