Blair County voters set a brisk pace heading to the polls Tuesday morning, and although presidential elections usually mean a strong voter turnout, this year's numbers could outpace 2008.
At the Martinsburg Volunteer Fire Company on South Market Street, 78-year-old Fred Phillips engaged in a friendly bit of post-voting banter with another resident as they got into their cars.
A Romney supporter, more by default than enthusiasm, Phillips said he cast his vote for a change in Washington, D.C.
"I just think we need to change things," Phillips said, adding he did wish the Republicans had chosen a different candidate.
"A good man won't take it," Phillips said of the presidency, saying his biggest concern is the economy and wasteful government spending.
"Money doesn't go as far as it did 30 years ago," said the retiree.
In 2008, 497, or 66.7 percent, of the voters at the Martinsburg Volunteer Fire Company, one of two precincts in the borough, voted. By 10 a.m., Tuesday the tally was 119 as poll workers said they expected a higher than usual turnout.
Blair County Director of Elections Ingrid Tucker-Healy said the 97 polls in the county have been busy and said it was possible the county could see a higher turnout than in previous elections. Tucker-Healy noted voters were encountering longer lines and more people were expected this year.
In 2008, 62 percent of Blair County's 84,402 registered voters that year cast ballots.
At the Frankstown Municipal Building, voters were lined up at 8 a.m. with between 2,800 and 3,000 voters expected by the close of the polls.
At the Grazierville United Methodist Church, one of two Snyder Township polls, 231 people had voted by 12:30 p.m., more than half of the 584 who voted in 2008 when 61 percent of the precincts 955 registered voters cast a ballot.
The polls close at 8 p.m.
Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.