School board race drives surprising turnout at Camp Hill polling places

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CAMP HILL, Pa. (WHTM) — Voter turnout for municipal elections is often low, but that wasn’t true in a Cumberland County community on Tuesday.

In Camp Hill, there were multiple polling places that had long lines of voters. Many of them say the most important race for them was for the school board. Some voters say they had to wait as long as an hour to cast their ballots.

The community has had school board races before, but this year was different. More people seem to be prioritizing local politics.

Camp Hill mom Ami Zumkhawala-Cook was one of the people who said she was focused on the school board race.

“I think there’s a high interest with what’s going on in our schools and our local communities. I think people have time to be engaged,” Zumkhawala-Cook said.

In Camp Hill national topics like critical race theory and diversity in curriculum have dominated discussion about the school board election.

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New neighbor Terry Bossert says the interest in the race is obvious.

“Actually I’ve just moved into the borough, but I’ve seen that it’s apparently a school board race that’s pretty hot,” Bossert said.

Parents like David Sachs say the race is personal.

“I like to be informed about what the schools are deciding for our children and how they’re educating them,” Sachs said.

Emma Chaplain is still in school, and voted for the very first time on Tuesday, just 2 weeks after turning 18.

“We talked about this election a little bit in class and I was like yeah, I got to get out and vote,” Chaplain said.

Even with long lines voter Kathy Vollmer says the trade-off of more participation in local elections is worth it.

“I’m glad to see we had to wait frankly. It shows interest. It shows people are active and supporting,” Vollmer said.

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