For the latest story in our “Voice of the Voter” series, KDKA’s Ross Guidotti heads to Westmoreland County to talk to voters about what issues they think matter most.
GREENSBURG, Pa. (KDKA) – Every election on the national level, there’s always a state or county that everybody is looking at as some kind of bellwether. This year, it’s Westmoreland County.
Why? For a county without a major population center it’s got votes — a lot of them.
These are the numbers in Westmoreland County according to Harrisburg as of Oct. 19: 103,110 Democrats, 118,276 Republicans and 30,259 independents and others.
But those are just numbers. It’s the people behind those digits that both national and local political movers and shakers are after.
At the county courthouse, voters one after another put their mail-in vote envelopes in the collection box. KDKA’s Ross Guidotti asked who’s got their vote, and the majority of those dropping off votes skewed toward Biden, but not exclusively.
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One thing that you notice in Westmoreland County is it’s giant — lots of land and lots of signs on said land.
Closer to towns like Greensburg signs backing former Vice President Biden are quite apparent, unlike the last election where signs for Hillary Clinton were sparse.
In the more rural areas big and small, Trump signs are everywhere. And if Trump supporters have a mecca, it’s the now internationally-famous Trump house in Youngstown.
County resident and Trump supporter Diane Mays told us why the 45th president has her vote again: “I’m a Trump supporter. The main reason why is he’s not a politician.”
Ed Haberchak Apollo says his vote will go red: “(Trump)’s come through on his promise. The things he said he’d do he’s done, building the wall and turning the economy around.”
Haberchak’s wife Rose will also be casting a vote for the president, enthusiastically telling KDKA’s Ross Guidotti, “My man is Trump, he’s taking it all the way, he supports the second amendment and that’s important to us.
As Ross Guidotti spoke to Westmoreland County voters, he discovered the vitriol and anger has taken its toll on people and their friendships.
“I’m at odds with my family — over mask-wearing and who I’m voting for, who they’re voting for. It’s caused a lot of divisiveness,” said one Biden supporter.
Who’s to blame for that? Both sides blame the other and the “media.”
Which leads to questions for these voices of voters: On Nov. 4, will you be able to be friends again? Is there at least some hope?
Diane Mays says she’s not sure. “I hope so, unfortunately I think there’s going to be some issues.”
Haberchak seems at least a little more optimistic telling KDKA, “If it doesn’t work out, can we be friends again? I don’t see why not.”
Meanwhile, Westmoreland County Commissioner Gina Cerilli says they’re looking for last-minute judge of elections and poll workers for Election Day.
She says a judge of elections is needed for three polling places while extra poll workers are needed throughout the county.
If you want to sign up, call 724-830-3564.
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