Amid embarrassing turnout, voters make important decisions

Even in an under-the-radar Primary Election, Lycoming County voters made some important decisions Tuesday.

They appear to have elected District Attorney Eric Linhardt to fill a judge seat that will become available next January. Linhardt swept to the Republican nomination and narrowly won the Democratic nomination over local attorney Roan Confer.

That was the most notable result Tuesday on a day when there were dozens of important local races for party nominations.

Among those contests, former DuBoistown Police Chief Norman J. Cowden outpolled the borough’s longtime incumbent Mayor Louis A. Plankenhorn.

There were many other results just as important in the communities where the votes were cast.

And there were clearly not enough votes cast. On a perfect weather day, the turnout in Lycoming County was an embarrassing 22 percent.

There are 58,635 registered Democratic and Republican voters in the county and only 12,935 of them cast votes Tuesday.

The turnout was down from the 28 percent who turned out in 2015, the last election to feature county and municipal candidates.

With that sort of turnout, the axiom that every vote counts has never been more true.

In many of the contests, the difference between someone getting or not getting a nomination was less than 10 votes.

Of course, there is an official vote count still to come, starting Friday. And even then, nothing is really final until the General Election in November.

But important decisions were made by too few citizens on Tuesday.

Hopefully, the turnout in November will match the importance of electing leaders to our legal system, school boards, townships, boroughs and the city of Williamsport.