The president judge of the Schuylkill County court will appoint a judge of election, a majority inspector of election and a minority inspector of election in voting precincts which have been consolidated, increased or boundary line redrawn. The changes will be applied to the Primary Election to be held on May 18.

President Judge Willliam E. Baldwin announced he will sit in open court on Friday, March 19, beginning at 9 a.m. to make appointments for the following election districts:

Tamaqua, first, second, third and fourth precincts; West Penn Township, first, second and third districts; Rush Township, East, West and Elixir districts; North Manheim Township, first, second and third districts; Minersville, third and fourth precints; Pine Grove Township, first and second districts; Saint Clair, North, Middle and South precincts; Schuylklll Haven, North, East, South and West precincts; Shenandoah, second, third, fourth and fifth Precicntss; Tower City; Upper Mahantongo Township; Washington Township; Wayne Township, first, second and third districts and Pottsville, first ward; second ward; third ward, first precinct; fourth ward; fifth ward, first precinct; fifth ward, first precinct and second precinct; sixth ward and seventh ward, first precinct and second precinct.

There are also vacancies to be filled on election boards in many other townships and boroughs who were not changed. This includes the following:

Butler Township, Fountain Springs District, a judge and two inspectors; Butler Township, Lavelle District, a minority inspector; Coaldale, east precinct, a minority inspector; Cressona, a minority inspector; Deer Lake, a minority inspector; East Brunswick Township, a minority inspector; Eldred Township, a majority and minority inspector; Frailey Township, a judge of election and minority inspector; Gordon, a minority inspector; Landingville, a minority inspector; Mechanicsville, a majority and minority inspector; Middleport, a minority inspector; Mount Carbon, a minority inspector; New Castle Township, a majority and minority inspectors; New Ringgold, a minority inspector; North Union Township, a majority and minority inspector; Pall Alto, Second Ward, a judge of election and a majority and minority inspector;

Seek candidates

Baldwin ordered in each of these election districts the Schuylkill County Election Board shall cause a notice of the date, time and place when the appointment of these officers will be made to be posted for at least five days prior on the polling places within the district and in the immediate vicinity.

The notice will state that anyone interested in being appointed as a judge of election or election inspector may appear in person or send a letter of interest prior to the stated date addressed to: President Judge, Schuylkill County Courthouse, 401 N. Second St., Pottsville, Pa., 17901. Any interested applicants must also submit a copy of his or her voter registration card or other verification from the election bureau showing the election district in which he or she resides.

Impact next election

In May 2009 the court granted the petition of the county board of elections to alter the election districts. Some former districts were consolidated. In some municipalities the number of election districts were increased. In still others the boundary lines were redrawn. These changes became effective for all elections occuring after Dec. 31, 2009.

Some candidates for local election boards ran in 2009 for the offices of judge of election and inspector within the districts which existed at that time and some were elected to serve on boards being changed. The law allows the judge to appoint who will serve until a board is elected.

Baldwin notes where election district boundaries were changed, the new boundaries were required by law to be clearly visible physical features conforming with census block lines, such as as rivers, railroads and streets. When a street was selected as the boundary, residents on one side of the street will find themselves in a different election district from their neighbors on the other side of the street. In a few instances that will mean that a person who served as an election board officer in the past may no longer live within the district where he or she served.

Baldwin stated in an effort to be fair to everyone who may be interested in serving, the court will give consideration to anyone who submits a letter of interest prior to the appointment date, whether or not they appear at the time for the appointment. There are individuals who ran last November for the position of judge of election or inspector of election in districts that are being consolidated with another or where boundary lines were being changed. Baldwin ruled the court will assume those individuals are interested in being appointed without further expression of interest, giving due consideration to the number of votes they received in November.

The inspector of elections for each polling place must be of either the Republican or Democratic Party. The majority is determined by the greater number of votes a candidate receives.