Some parts of Luzerne County might see a better voter turnout than others today.
It depends on who’s on the ballot in your town.
Still, the overall number of Democrats and Republicans who go to the polls likely will constitute more of a trickle than a flood, as voters choose nominees to run for for governor, lieutenant governor, Congress, state Senate and state House, as well as elect members of the parties’ state and local committees.
County Director of Elections Marisa Crispell said the turnout should be a bit better in retiring state Rep. Phyllis Mundy’s 120th District on the West Side and part of the Back Mountain. Two Democrats and one Republican are seeking party nominations to run in November to replace the veteran lawmaker.
State Rep. Karen Boback, R-Harveys Lake, also has an opponent for the GOP nomination in the 117th District race, and one Democrat is seeking a nomination to run.
“Karen Boback — the fact her legislative lines extended farther into Wyoming County — we’ll see if that draws more voters,” Crispell said.
She noted both Boback’s opponent for the party nomination and the Democrat are from Wyoming County.
“I expect to see less turnout in the areas where the candidate is unopposed,” Crispell said.
Crispell said absentee ballots numbered slightly more than 1,000, about one-fourth of what came in for the presidential election in 2012.
Meanwhile, county registration levels remained the same. Of a total of 195,841 registered, 111,233 are Democrats and 63,911 are Republicans.
Wilkes University political science professor Thomas Baldino expects the percentage of voters in today’s primaries to hit no higher than the “low 30s” in Luzerne County.
“There’s not a lot of drama,” he said.
“With the exception of the Democratic primary, there’s not much going on here,” said Baldino, who’s also interim dean of Wilkes’ College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. “Statewide, it’s a little better. Some races (locally) might draw some voters, but there are no big-ticket candidates, like in a presidential race.”
He noted four Democrats are vying for a nomination to run for governor, but none is from around here, so there is little local interest.
Baldino also questioned whether all of the people who said they supported front-runner Tom Wolf will actually go out and vote for him. Baldino said Wolf doesn’t have a “ground game” — the numbers of volunteers that U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz and state Treasurer Rob McCord have to call voters and help them get to the polls.
“I expect the gubernatorial race to be a lot closer than the polls suggest — 4 or 5 percent,” Baldino predicted. “Wolf may win, but the margin of victory will be smaller than the polls suggest.”
Statewide, The Associated Press reported, pollsters expect about 25 percent of the 1 million registered Democrats to vote in the primary.