ELK COUNTY-As was expected by Election Office officials, most precincts and wards in the County reported low to moderate turnout in the Primary Election on Tuesday.
This is often the case in non-presidential election years, and even more so with the Primary Election, and will probably be the case with the General Election in November. In the light of no National candidates and state races limited to Judgeships, this was amplified by the absence of Democratic challengers in many of the County-wide races.
Republicans stand unopposed by challengers in what are generally termed to be "row-officer" positions. This includes the District Attorney, Prothonotary, Register and Recorder, County Treasurer, County Coroner, and Elk County Sheriff.
The major competitive race in the County is on the Republican side of the ballot, with Acting District Attorney Beau Grove facing off against newcomer Danny Devito. Grove is fighting hard to maintain his position and had his supporters at almost every major precinct in the County handing out his literature.
Low turnout can also be attributed to Pennsylvania holding "closed" primaries, where only registered Republicans and Democrats can vote in their individual elections, with Independents and other parties unable to vote in the polls. Independent voters do not even appear on the precinct books that voters are required to sign before casting their ballots and are unable to participate in primary elections.
The precincts remained open until 8 p.m. throughout Elk County, and the volunteers who staff all 30 Polling locations should be thanked for their efforts to ensure that Elk County has free and fair elections.