State, county races may impact you more than you think

CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) – On Election Day, although there were no big national races, Midstaters elect judges and seats on state Supreme, Superior and Commonwealth courts.

In Cumberland County, the big race was for county commissioner. Who people voted for may impact them more than they think.

Every Election Day we hear the same message.

“A democracy only functions if voters get out and vote,” said Barbara Wiggin, a poll worker.

Still, during “off” election years, there is low voter turnout.

“It’s still about maybe 18 percent, and we’re hoping to go over 25 percent,” Wiggin said.

There are four candidates vying for three seats on the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners. On the Republican side is incumbent Gary Eichelberger and Silver Spring Township commissioner Vince DiFilippo. On the Democratic side is incumbent Jim Hertzler and former county commissioner Rick Rovegno.

Although a lot of people did not show up to the polls to cast their ballot, voters said they should.

“I think it’s very important that every citizen has the opportunity to have a say in what goes on in their community, and the only way to be heard is to collectively come together and cast your vote,” voter Laurie Besden said. “That’s why I’m here today.”

John Thomas, Hampden Township commissioner, said county commissioners make decisions that directly impact the people who live and work in the county.

“Well, the presidential election has less impact on the residents’ daily life than voting for township commissioner or county commissioner,” Thomas said. “The county home, and the court system and so on and so forth are used on a regular basis, either directly or indirectly by the folks.”

The impact gets even more personal.

“Commissioners make decisions about the environment, about growth in the community, about taxes. So, all that affects people’s pocketbooks, our lifestyles,” Wiggin said. “People always complain about things and if you haven’t gotten out to vote, you have no right to complain.”

The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners has been a Republican majority since the 1970s.

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