The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


December 29, 2012

2012: The Valley in Review


Congressmen retained

Marino, Barletta snare solid wins

Nov. 7. Williamsport. Several hundred people waited to stand and applaud U.S. Rep. Tom Marino on Tuesday night after a dominant victory that will send him back to Washington to serve the 10th District for another two years.

Tuesday’s victory was Marino’s second blow-out win after he defeated former U.S. Rep. Chris Carney, a Democrat from Dimock, in 2010 in convincing fashion.

Marino now will represent the new 10th District, which consists of Perry, Juniata, Huntingdon, Mifflin, Snyder, Union, Lycoming, Sullivan, Tioga, Bradford, Susquehanna, Wayne, Lackawanna, Pike and Monroe counties.

More than 80 miles away, Marino’s counterpart in Congress, U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-11 of Hazleton, was celebrating at Mia’s Restaurant in downtown Hazleton after winning his second term by easily defeating Democratic challenger Gene Stilp, of Harrisburg.

Stubborn machine was talk of nation

Nov. 8. Lewisburg. Calibration methods will be improved on Union County’s 100 electronic voting machines to thwart possible miscast votes, touchscreen problems and other issues in future elections, officials said Wednesday.

The effort follows trouble Tuesday from a machine at Elmcroft Senior Living Community in Lewisburg, which was taken out of service after several voters said the machine wasn’t marking chosen candidates, sometimes needing repeated touches before the vote would register correctly.

While President Barack Obama carried Pennsylvania but with less support than he received four years ago, the Democrat’s decline in support was more pronounced in Union County.

“We’re checking with the company to see what we can do to better enhance the calibration and anything else to make (service) better,” Union County Commissioner John Showers, chairman of the elections board, said of the Diebold TSX machines.

“We had sensitivity issues on the touch screens at a couple places,” Showers said.

“There seemed to be more of them (on Election Day) than we ever experienced before. We also had a huge election and a lot of people using the machines.”

The troubled voting machine put Union County in the national spotlight, cited in voting dilemma stories from around the country.

CNN, MSNBC and Mother Jones magazine’s website were among news outlets that picked up the story, particularly after a video sent to The Daily Item showed a voter at Elmcroft clearly having a difficult time getting the machine to record his vote.

Every time the voter tried to choose Obama, the vote registered for Romney.

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