Recommendations made by Election Director Frannie Brennan for a special election to nominate school directors for the Hazleton Area School District were approved by the Schuylkill County commissioners at Wednesday's work session, held at the Pottsville courthouse. The election, to be held on Tuesday, July 23, will take place in five precincts located in the northeastern part of the county.
Similar action is expected to occur in Carbon County when the commissioners meet on Thursday.
Only Schuylkill County voters who cast ballots in the Primary Election on May 21, either by going to their polling places or by absentee ballot, will be eligible to vote in the special election as it is strictly for correcting an oversight which occurred in the primary election.
The judge of election of each polling place will have the names of the voters who had cast their ballot in the primary election.
The five precincts in which the election will be held are: East Union Township, North Union Township, Kline Township, and McAdoo Borough first and second precincts. The polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on July 23.
The special election was ordered by Luzerne County Court to correct an error caused by the Luzerne County Election Board, which failed to notify Schuylkill and Carbon counties to remove the name of Steven Hahn from the ballot after he withdrew as a candidate. Hahn remained on the ballot in both counties. In Schuylkill County he received 226 votes on the Republican ballot and 167 votes on the Democratic ballot.
One of the candidates, Carmella Yenkevich, petitioned the three county courts contesting the vote.
President Judge William E. Baldwin ruled the petition be transferred to the Luzerne County court. The same action was taken in Carbon County. The Hazleton Area School District encompasses all of Luzerne County, five precincts in Schuylkill County and two districts in Carbon County.
There are seven candidates remaining on the ballot with Hahn's name removed. Four candidates were to be nominated on the Republican ballot and on the Democratic ballot; all candidates appeared on both ballots.
The vote they received in Schuylkill County in the primary election was as follows:
Republican ballot Jared M. O'Donnell, 318; Bob Mehalick, 317; Carmella Yenkevich, 304; James G. Chapman, 299; Clarence John, 272; Fred Frederick Mariano, 221; and Thomas J. Chirico, 208. Democratic ballot Mehalick, 309; Yenkevich, 292; O'Donnell, 281; Chapman, 263; John, 213; Chirico, 21 and Mriano, 185.
These votes were set aside by a ruling of the Luzerne County Court, which ordered a new election.
The number of voters eligible to cast ballots in the special election in the five precincts in Schuylkill County are: East Union Township, 335; North Union Township, 167; Kline Township, 367; McAdoo Borough, first precinct, 230, and second precinct, 285.
Brennan listed important dates for the special election.
The last day to apply for a civilian ballot is Tuesday, July 16, at 5 p.m. at the election bureau in Pottsville; last day for the county board of elections to receive voted civilian absentee ballots is Friday, July 19, at 5 p.m. After the special election on July 23 a computing board, appointed by the county commissioners, will convene on Friday, July 26, to make an official count of the votes cast. The votes will be added to those cast in Carbon County and Luzerne County to determine who the four nominees are on the Republican and Democratic ballots for the General Election to be held Nov. 5.
The last day for the county board of election to receive military and overseas absentee ballots (must be postmarked no later than July 22) is Tuesday, July 30.
Also at the work session, the commissioners hired two rovers at the rate of $10 per hour. The rovers will also be paid $0.565 per mile to travel on the special primary day to the assigned polling sites or where needed. The voting machines to be used in the special election were cleared of the votes cast in May election to be ready for use on July 23. Joseph Contrady, of McAdoo, was hired to deliver the machines to the five precincts in which the election will be held. He will be paid $105.
At the close of the polls the results of the election will be brought to the county election bureau located in Pottsville across from the city hall building on North Centre Street where an unofficial tabulation will be made.
Two people were appointed to the Resolution Board, George Moyer, (Republican), of Pottsville, and Mark Scarbinsky (Democrat), of Saint Clair. Moyer will be paid $100 for his service. Scarbinsky will receive no compensation as he is the county administrator. The county commissioners will be on hand to oversee the count.
Commissioner George Halcovage lauded Brennan for her time and effort in making all the preparations for the special elections. He said she had been in constant communication with the state election board to see that all proceedings comply under the election code. Brennan lauded the judges of election of the five precincts who accepted the extra duties and have prepared their boards to to perform their tasks.
Under the order of the Luzerne County Court, the costs to the county for holding the special election will be paid by Luzerne County.