Voters were in the dark, literally, Tuesday morning when the polls opened at Wellspring Community Church in Upper Macungie -- the power went out for an hour and a half.
Lehigh County's Director of Elections Timothy Benyo said Tuesday night that voters were still able to cast ballots because the electronic machines had battery backup. The county then brought in a generator for power.
Voting was brisk throughout the township, including at Trinity Wesleyan Church, one of the five polling locations. Majority Inspector Sandi Gackenbach and Judge of Elections Amanda Hall said more voters had turned out at Trinity Wesleyan Church in the first two hours of the general election -- more than 300 -- than in the primary.
In local races Tuesday:
-- Charlie Dent easily won a fifth term in Congress.
-- Gary Day retained the 187th House seat.
-- Ryan Mackenzie won a full term in the 134th House race.
In the presidential race, polls had shown it would be a close contest between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Though Obama won re-election, Upper Macungie favored the Romney-Ryan ticket.
The unofficial Upper Macungie vote totals follow:
UPPER MACUNGIE 2012 UNOFFICIAL ELECTION RESULTS (5 Districts reporting)Race Democratic Candidates Results Republican Candidates Results U.S. President
Obama-Biden4,288 Romney-Ryan 5,172 U.S. Senate
Bob Casey4,488 Tom Smith 4,780
U.S. Congress/15th District
Rick Daugherty3,528 Charlie Dent 5,860 PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane 4,512 David Freed 4,588 PA Auditor General Eugene DePasquale 3,724 John Maher 5,025 PA Treasurer Robert McCord 3,932 Diana Vaughan 4,841
134th State House/Upper Macungie/1 DistrictJohn Reynard 1,209 Ryan Mackenzie 1,384
187th State House Upper MacungieJoseph Haas 2,646 Gary Day 4,083 187th Total District 7,267 14,020
By 11:40 a.m. Tuesday at Trinity Wesleyan Church, more than 700 voters had already cast ballots.
"We've had a steady stream all day," Sandi Gackenbach said.
Polls workers asked for voter ID, though voters were not required to show it unless they were voting for the first time. Gackenbach said most voters were willing to show ID but some had refused on principle.
Melanie Schade, 18, of Upper Macungie, was voting in her first presidential general election. "It feels good to be able to say I voted," she said.
The Cedar Crest College student had been looking forward to voting and filled out the necessary paperwork as soon as it arrived after her 18th birthday in February. She said she cast her ballot for Republican Mitt Romney. "I wanted something new," she said.
Janet and Bruce Lavoie, of Upper Macungie, said they had grown weary of all the campaign phone calls before the election. The calls had become annoying. "There were too many of them," Janet Lavoie said.
Bruce Lavoie considered voter ID to be a non-issue.
"I think it's a good thing," said his wife, "so we know, one person...gets one vote."
Here's how Upper Macungie voted in the last two presidential elections:
George W. Bush clobbered John Kerry in the 2004 Upper Macungie presidential balloting, while fellow Republican John McCain barely came out ahead against then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2008.
Bush defeated Kerry by an almost 1,350-vote margin, 4,632 to 3,286, winning in all four of the township’s voting precincts.
Upper Macungie added a precinct for the 2008 election, when McCain squeaked by Obama by about 50 votes, 4,522 to 4,471. McCain won in four of the five precincts.
Jack Tobias contributed to this report.