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  • State College | | Lancaster PA Blog
    U S save on average 6 6 more of their income than residents of the rest of the U S Here in the Northeast the average household puts 23 5 of its annual income 15 816 into savings as opposed to 16 5 in the Midwest 19 1 in the South and 15 0 in the West It s worth noting that in the Northeast an average of 1 730 9 2 of household income came from investments including interest dividends and rental property income OK so narrowing it down to the Northeast is cool and all but how can I say the strength of this asset personal savings is particularly high in Central PA Here I have to rely on the same rationale Forbes used when they named Lancaster the tenth best city in which to ride out the recession the equity people have in their homes As of September according to Zillow real estate market reports Lancaster County homeowners who made their purchase in the past five years have a median equity of 40 000 in their homes That s 30 of their home s value Compare that with the median equity held in nearby Philadelphia 26 or Baltimore 23 In Boston which edged us out in the Forbes list it s 21 To see how bad it gets observe the staggeringly negative 20 in Stockton CA What s more in Lancaster homes have only declined 4 9 in value since their peak which was in the second quarter of 2007 versus 6 4 in Philadelphia 10 2 in Baltimore 16 6 in Boston and 49 0 in Stockton Elsewhere in Central PA State College is rocking where prices still haven t peaked and York Hanover isn t doing too poorly home values there are down 10 7

    Original URL path: http://www.lancasterpablog.com/tag/state-college/ (2016-04-27)
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  • Christiana | | Lancaster PA Blog
    gigantic but a shocking change from 2004 when Bush carried 69 to Kerry s 31 and 2000 when Bush also received 69 of the vote and Gore eked out 29 Urban vs Suburban Exurban Rural That breakdown however ignores the important fact that there are urban dwellers living in other municipalities beside Lancaster City Perhaps it is more fair to compare all the county s urban voters against the rest I ran the numbers comparing city and borough precincts against township precincts including the urbanized Lancaster Township with the boroughs In urbania county wide Obama beat McCain 56 43 with 73 366 voters weighing in 33 of voters In 2000 and 2004 Bush carried the county s urban areas 56 43 and 57 40 respectively Away from urban districts McCain beat Obama 61 37 with 151 425 voters Again this looks decisive until compared with Bush s victories in 2004 and 200 70 30 and 70 28 Stack the Deck What if we stack the deck Just for fun I picked out out all the municipalities in Lancaster County that went for Obama and pitted them against the rest of the county Here s how it looks Select Municipalities Obama 68 McCain 31 Eighteen percent of the Lancaster County electorate or 40 319 voters currently live in areas where a majority of their neighbors currently lean Democratic In 2004 those same municipalities on the whole went for Kerry by 61 38 and for Gore by just 57 39 The Rest of Municipalities McCain 61 Obama 38 Even in the most Republican areas of the county Democratic voters should have no trouble finding many neighbors who share their political viewpoint In these municipalities Bush carried 2004 by 69 30 and 2000 by 69 28 Perhaps most interesting is the list of

    Original URL path: http://www.lancasterpablog.com/tag/christiana/ (2016-04-27)
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  • election results | | Lancaster PA Blog
    is gigantic but a shocking change from 2004 when Bush carried 69 to Kerry s 31 and 2000 when Bush also received 69 of the vote and Gore eked out 29 Urban vs Suburban Exurban Rural That breakdown however ignores the important fact that there are urban dwellers living in other municipalities beside Lancaster City Perhaps it is more fair to compare all the county s urban voters against the rest I ran the numbers comparing city and borough precincts against township precincts including the urbanized Lancaster Township with the boroughs In urbania county wide Obama beat McCain 56 43 with 73 366 voters weighing in 33 of voters In 2000 and 2004 Bush carried the county s urban areas 56 43 and 57 40 respectively Away from urban districts McCain beat Obama 61 37 with 151 425 voters Again this looks decisive until compared with Bush s victories in 2004 and 200 70 30 and 70 28 Stack the Deck What if we stack the deck Just for fun I picked out out all the municipalities in Lancaster County that went for Obama and pitted them against the rest of the county Here s how it looks Select Municipalities Obama 68 McCain 31 Eighteen percent of the Lancaster County electorate or 40 319 voters currently live in areas where a majority of their neighbors currently lean Democratic In 2004 those same municipalities on the whole went for Kerry by 61 38 and for Gore by just 57 39 The Rest of Municipalities McCain 61 Obama 38 Even in the most Republican areas of the county Democratic voters should have no trouble finding many neighbors who share their political viewpoint In these municipalities Bush carried 2004 by 69 30 and 2000 by 69 28 Perhaps most interesting is the list

    Original URL path: http://www.lancasterpablog.com/tag/election-results/ (2016-04-27)
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  • GOP | | Lancaster PA Blog
    Republican received better than 60 of the vote Light red indicates the Republican won but his challenger received more than 40 of the vote Dark blue indicates the Democrat received better than 60 of the vote Light blue indicates the Democrat won but his challenger received more than 40 of the vote While McCain Palin still won Lancaster County last week by a comfortable 55 43 split Ralph Nader got half a percent Ron Paul got two tenths of a percent as a write in the numbers indicate a changing electorate within our county I was actually astonished to compare for myself the decisive break from voting patterns in the 2000 and 2004 elections Forgive the poor graphics quality I did these myself Here are a few ways of breaking down the numbers City vs County Lancaster City landslided for Obama 76 to McCain s 23 The city represented 21 975 votes or 10 of county voters Compare this to much slimmer margins in 2004 where Kerry beat Bush 62 to 38 and 2008 where Gore beat Bush 57 to 39 Once you subtract the city s votes Lancaster County favored McCain less overwhelmingly 59 to 40 Non city residents cast 202 816 votes making up the other 90 of voters A margin of 19 points is gigantic but a shocking change from 2004 when Bush carried 69 to Kerry s 31 and 2000 when Bush also received 69 of the vote and Gore eked out 29 Urban vs Suburban Exurban Rural That breakdown however ignores the important fact that there are urban dwellers living in other municipalities beside Lancaster City Perhaps it is more fair to compare all the county s urban voters against the rest I ran the numbers comparing city and borough precincts against township precincts including the urbanized Lancaster Township with the boroughs In urbania county wide Obama beat McCain 56 43 with 73 366 voters weighing in 33 of voters In 2000 and 2004 Bush carried the county s urban areas 56 43 and 57 40 respectively Away from urban districts McCain beat Obama 61 37 with 151 425 voters Again this looks decisive until compared with Bush s victories in 2004 and 200 70 30 and 70 28 Stack the Deck What if we stack the deck Just for fun I picked out out all the municipalities in Lancaster County that went for Obama and pitted them against the rest of the county Here s how it looks Select Municipalities Obama 68 McCain 31 Eighteen percent of the Lancaster County electorate or 40 319 voters currently live in areas where a majority of their neighbors currently lean Democratic In 2004 those same municipalities on the whole went for Kerry by 61 38 and for Gore by just 57 39 The Rest of Municipalities McCain 61 Obama 38 Even in the most Republican areas of the county Democratic voters should have no trouble finding many neighbors who share their political viewpoint In these municipalities Bush

    Original URL path: http://www.lancasterpablog.com/tag/gop/ (2016-04-27)
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  • McCain | | Lancaster PA Blog
    your own or just wait until the next election and try your luck then Here s what happened Sarah filled out her provisional ballot then took it along with the big green envelope to the nearest election worker inside the polling place He didn t speak much English was generally excited and antsy and an ardent Obama supporter and had never done the job before He took the ballot from her and immediately ran it through the ballot scanner He thanked her and sent her outside When she walked out the door we saw her still holding the big green envelope and the legal sized manila folder in which the ballots are handed out We realized something was wrong and tried to figure out what to advise her to do When we realized that her vote had been counted but her name had not been written on the list of people who voted there we realized something had to be said or else there would be trouble reconciling the votes at the end of the night We were wrong about that It wouldn t have caused any problem or discrepancy to be noticed at all More on that in a second Charlie called his folks at the Democratic headquarters They couldn t find anything in the elections laws or procedures covering the situation So Charlie went back inside with Sarah and explained the situation to the judge of elections She didn t know what to do but took note of the problem and wrote detailed notes to be included in her report to the Board of Elections at the end of the night Let s jump back to 8 p m when the polls closed Two of the elections workers had to leave right away though the judge of elections had been counting on them to stay through the counting and closing leaving four people to do all the work They proceeded with the vote count in the prescribed order Only 35 of 565 voters at my polling place chose to vote via eSlate which leaves no paper trail Close the eSlate machine Throughout the day 35 people had used the fully electronic touch screen machine which leaves no paper trail of any sort Their votes were processed 14 had voted straight Democratic and 1 had voted straight Republican Obama registered 29 votes total McCain 5 and Nader 1 Remove the paper ballots from the scanner machine stack them neatly and put them in a big zippered canvas bag to be returned to the Board of Elections Open the absentee ballots that belonged to this precinct and scan them There were 21 absentee ballots One of them wouldn t scan even though it only had a minor tear at the bottom and even though the scanner will accept a ballot oriented in any direction and even though they attempted a fix with Scotch tape The one that wouldn t scan was sent to the Board of Elections but was never

    Original URL path: http://www.lancasterpablog.com/tag/mccain/ (2016-04-27)
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  • Lancaster County Writes In | Lancaster PA Blog
    THE ABOVE OBI WAN KENOBI PAKELIKA PARIS HILTON PAT KUHNS PETE ROSE PETER LEACH PHARIS HILTON PHYLLIS OBERHOLTZER PRESENT RAUL PAUL RICHARD K MCCORD SR RICHARD L PILSTON RICHARD NIXON II ROBERT CASEY JR ROBERT TROY BOYER RON PAUL 452 votes RON PAUL JESSE VENTURA RON PAUL SARAH PALIN RONALD J SIDER RONALD REAGAN GERALD FORD ROSS PEROT RUDY GIULIANI RUSSELL JONES SARAH PALIN SNOOPY T BOONE PICKENS TOM BROKAW TOM RIDGE TOM SWIFT TONY STEWART TREVOR THE DOG TROY LEFEVER W TODD MOGLE WARREN BUFFET WESLEY CLARK WILLIAM BRIAN KRAFT WILLLIAM SNYDER If you find any good write ins in other races be sure to share them here and let me know I am also honored in a way I can t express to have been written in for a seat in the state House representing the 98th district where I ve never lived meaning I tied for third place with Santa Claus Let the holidays begin And watch out Dave Hickernell Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window Related candidates election Lancaster County write ins 7 thoughts on Lancaster County Writes In Ken says November 10 2008 at 9 20 pm Wow I actually know a few of those people Kelly Watson says November 11 2008 at 8 32 am Mickey Mouse So unimaginative Personally I like the Chuck Norris nod Travis Seitler says November 11 2008 at 9 56 am Remember my frustration over the small write in space Looks like someone else had trouble with it Too bad BALDWIN CASTLE isn t considered the same as writing in CHUCK BALDWIN DARRELL CASTLE I have to admit though voting PRESENT on the ballot is a

    Original URL path: http://www.lancasterpablog.com/lancaster-county-writes-in/ (2016-04-27)
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  • charter | | Lancaster PA Blog
    4 or more Inflation adjustments are typically under 3 If they opt to raise taxes by 7 or more we citizens can stop it via a ballot referendum Again debt is controlled as well as taxes The commissioners will not be able to fund projects through debt rather than taxes because we citizens can exercise our ability to stop both That means our government will be forced into long term sustainability a good thing 3 Because Harrisburg Is Whack Dennis Stuckey became a county commissioner in January of this year When he did so he vacated his role as county controller essentially the county s fiscal watchdog The position still has not been filled because we are waiting for Governor Rendell to appoint a replacement Why are we waiting for the governor to appoint a replacement controller Because without home rule we are at the mercy of the state for such things Make no mistake about it In very key ways we do not currently control our own county government Harrisburg does And Harrisburg is whack The state government is in need of major overhaul We should trust ourselves over bureaucrats in Harrisburg 4 Other Reasons The Lancaster County Home Rule Charter requires the leaders of the dozens of municipalities within our county to get together once a year and talk to each other enhancing cooperation between my city and your township your township and the nearby borough etc One county commissioner per 100 000 people is totally reasonable Right now we have 3 commissioners for half a million people The Home Rule Charter gives us 5 Part time commissioners are better than full time They can focus on long term strategy and listen to real people Or if they are OK with 55 000 a year they can do it full time Commissioners shouldn t be professional politicians The Home Rule Charter caps terms of office at 8 years This makes sure we have citizen leaders Under the Home Rule Charter the controller has to be a CPA or have a degree in finance or accounting The coroner has to be a licensed physician This makes sense but isn t currently required The commissioners have to focus on the long term when drafting budgets and the budget process has to be open for citizen review and input Right now the process of developing a budget can take place in secret and the budget can be available for citizen review only a very short period of time before being adopted That s bad for our county We currently elect Jury Commissioners whose jobs have been replaced by computers This charter eliminates the spending waste of paying for these positions We cannot remove these positions without a home rule charter The three roles of prothonotary clerk of courts and register of wills is combined into a single elected position the clerk of courts That s smaller more efficient government The Government Study Commission a nonpartisan group elected in November 2006 has

    Original URL path: http://www.lancasterpablog.com/tag/charter/ (2016-04-27)
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  • election | | Lancaster PA Blog
    be returned to the Board of Elections Open the absentee ballots that belonged to this precinct and scan them There were 21 absentee ballots One of them wouldn t scan even though it only had a minor tear at the bottom and even though the scanner will accept a ballot oriented in any direction and even though they attempted a fix with Scotch tape The one that wouldn t scan was sent to the Board of Elections but was never included in the count that the polling place submitted in its election night return Close out the ballot scanning machine Obama had 431 votes McCain 105 Nader 4 and Bob Barr 4 Write ins are counted and entered up to one month later mostly by hand Because I was concerned to make sure that the earlier situation with Sarah s provisional ballot was handled properly I was keeping close tabs on the total vote count Here is the raw data I wound up collecting 565 names had been written in the book of voters who entered the polling place When you sign your name in the signature book an election worker writes your name on a numbered list 555 paper ballots had been used that day 13 of those were spoiled i e someone messed up and needed to start over The spoiled ballots were collected put in a sealed envelope and returned to the Board of Elections The polling venue had started the day with 1 120 paper ballots They had 565 left over That at least added up 35 voters had voted via the eSlate 1 voter Sarah had her paper ballot scanned but did not have her name recorded on the list of voters 21 absentee ballots had been received 20 of those had been scanned 1 was unable to be scanned None of them had been checked against the list of people who voted to double check that no one cast an absentee ballot and then wound up attempting to vote in person 548 ballots had been counted by the scanning machine 17 provisional ballots had been properly cast and were waiting in green envelopes to be sent to the Board of Elections Here then is the problem 565 voters had come through the door and had their names written down on the list of people who voted 1 voter s ballot was counted but her name did not appear on that list 21 voters absentee ballots had submitted 587 voters Compare that to this 548 ballots were counted by the scanning machine 1 ballot absentee would not scan 35 ballots were cast electronically via the eSlate 584 ballots counted Oops Our polling place records showed 587 legitimate voters they appeared in the signature book and thus were allowed to vote at this precinct Our polling place records showed 584 ballots had been counted Oops This concerned the judge of elections when I was able to spell it out clearly and simply She asked to keep the piece of paper on which I had written the above simple arithmetic with notes and she included those in her report But she said that always happens every time There are possible explanations Someone could have come through the door signed the signature page had his or her name written on the list of voters and then decided it wasn t worth waiting in line any more and left without actually casting a ballot That s unlikely though because they would likely have made that decision after having been handed a paper ballot and all the paper ballots were accounted for No one walked out the door with a ballot in other words With only 35 people using the eSlate there was never a line for people who weren t using paper ballots An election worker could have written down someone s name on the list of voters only to discover that oops that person wasn t in the signature book and needed to cast a provisional ballot instead And then didn t do anything about the mistake This too is unlikely One of the election workers remaining at the end of the day had been at the registration table all day where they check voters names against the signature book and write down their names on the list She had no recollection of any mishap like the one I suggest was possible Also for much of the day a poll watcher from the Democratic Committee was there checking names against her own list serving as a sort of watchdog Further the person writing down people s names refers to the signature book for the proper spelling of the name If it s not there in the signature book it s unlikely it would be written down on the list What happened to those three voters their three ballots I registered my concern and the judge of elections duly noted it even as she said that such abnormalities are the norm I had no desire to make a stink only to do what I considered my duty as a poll watcher Instant runoff ballots are surprisingly straightforward We live in a democracy the world s first and longest standing If there is one thing we should get all but perfect it is voting We obviously don t The means of voting we use are grossly inconsistent between locales We use electronic machines that can be tampered with and that leave no paper trail verifiable or otherwise State representative Mike Sturla told me and my fellow poll workers of a reported tampering method At the beginning of the day the machines are checked to make sure that they have zero votes McCain having 10 votes and Obama having 10 votes equals zero and counts as zero Diebold has claimed that they have corrected the error that allows that to happen but even if that is true what have they not caught or accounted for Perhaps worst of all we staff

    Original URL path: http://www.lancasterpablog.com/tag/election/ (2016-04-27)
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