Voter turnout low in primary election

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Voters cast their ballots during Tuesday’s primary election at Myrtle Street Methodist Church in Scranton. (Left to Right) Phillis Reinhart, Jennifer LaMant, Lori Perry, Laurie Barrett, Megan Gibbons, Fay Franus, Shawn Zero. Credit: Joseph Petro

Joseph Petro, Summer News Director

Voters in Lackawanna County came out in dribs and drabs to do their civic duty Tuesday, casting their votes for the primary election.

According to the Lackawanna County website, only 47,903 ballots were cast by the 146,467 registered voters in the County.  The majority of ballots cast were for democratic candidates.

Lackawanna County voters chose their candidates for members of a government study commission, county judge, school board, city council, county row offices, and mayor.

One of the most contentious races in the County was the one for Scranton’s next mayor. Candidates for mayor included Democrats Bill Courtright, Elizabeth Randol, Joseph Cardamone and Lee Morgan and Republicans Gary Lewis and Marcel Lisi.

Laurie Barrett, 45, of Scranton, waited in line at Myrtle Street Methodist Church in Scranton to cast her ballot for change in Scranton.

“Our priority in Scranton is to recover our finances, and I think Scranton would really benefit from Liz Randol becoming mayor because she will nurse our financial health,” Barrett said.

Elizabeth Randol came up short at the polls, trailing former Scranton Tax Collector Bill Courtright, who earned the Democratic nomination for the November race.

Other voters in line Tuesday evening said their primary issues involved the city‘s financial situation and the transparency of city politics.

Shawn Zero, 46, Scranton, waited in line after a 12 hour work day to cast his vote.

“We need a change. As a community, we need to demand transparency from our city officials for the betterment of our citizens, family, friends, and neighbors,” said Zero.

Megan Gibbons, 22, Clarks Summit, daughter of the newly-elected Lackawanna County judge, James Gibbons, agreed.

“Even though my father is one of the candidates, I remind myself to look only at the issues and flaws that should be remedied in the local government,” said Gibbons. “This is what we have been talking about with these people today. It should no longer matter if you are Republican or Democrat, but how you will fix the problems.”

Magistrate District Judge James Gibbons earned the most Republican and Democrat votes in the election. He received 15,202 out of 40,183 of the votes cast, making him the frontrunner for the county bench in November.

To see the rest of the Lackawanna County Election results, click here.