Teds 01 5-14 Issue - Vote in the Primary Election May 18 (1)

   Voters line up at a Southwest polling place to cast ballots for candidates and questions on a previous Election Day.  This years primary occurs May 18 and races for party nomination for judges and the city DA and choices on key ballot questions are vital.  Polls are open at 7am to 8pm. 

ALL voters can vote on important ballot questions

By Ted Behr

Next Tuesday, May 18, polling places around the city will be open from 7:00am to 8:00pm. 

Registered voters can find their polling place by visiting:


The ballot allows voters who are registered as Republicans or Democrats to cast ballots for:

  –  District Attorney 

  –  City Controller  

  –  Statewide Justices and City Judges 

The judicial elections include the statewide justices of the Supreme Court, Superior Court, and Commonwealth Courts. The citywide races include those for judges of the City Court of Common Pleas and the Municipal Court. The City court judge positions include 3 open position and 17 retentions of judges who are already serving.  Judges of Election and Inspectors are also on the ballot in each Ward.

Information on the candidates may be found at:


There are also four important ballot questions on which all voters – those registered as independent, as well as those registered for a major political party – can vote. Philadelphia’s independent Committee of 70 provides a thorough analysis of these four questions, as well as analyses by the equally independent League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, at:


Regarding the first two of these questions, the declaration of a statewide disaster emergency has always been the sole responsibility of the Governor. Placing this responsibility under the Governor rather than the Assembly was always considered necessary because he or she can act immediately to reduce the dangerous consequences of a disaster and organize the needed relief. The public interest is protected under the state constitution by allowing the General Assembly in Harrisburg to override the Governor’s decision by a two/thirds vote. 

The two amendments on the May 18 ballot allow the General Assembly to override the Governor’s declaration by a simple majority.  Given the politicized environment of voting districts in Pennsylvanian, and the consequent Republican majorities in both houses effectively gives the present rightwing party the authority to cancel or extend emergency declarations.

Voting in Our Primary Elections – Why it is important!

Our former, highly respected City Commissioner, Stephanie Singer, always stressed that voting in primary elections was very important, first, because voting itself was a hard-earned right – especially for minorities.  But primary voting was vital for everyone because it sends a message to legislative and administrative candidates that the people in a particular district cared enough about their government and the particular issues to turn out!  “If they don’t care about who governs or legislates and what questions are on the ballot,” they reason, “they want the politicians and political parties, and powerful lobbyists and influencers to make the decision for them!”   To reinforce the idea that Philadelphia’s  concerns are important, city voters must vote to send that message!       Ted Behr

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