Election Day is November 2, let’s take a look at the sample ballots

October 17 – The local, municipal elections including township supervisors, school board members and borough councils will be on the ballot on November 2 in Pennsylvania and it’s mission critical that YOU get out and have your voice be heard.

Taking a peak at the sample ballot is sometimes easier said than done, but will certainly help you see what you’ll be looking at.

It’s important to remember if you’re voting by mail or in person, there is a second page to the ballot about retention of judges. So make sure you don’t forget that.

The retention questions are on superior and commonwealth court judges. There are four justices who are incumbents, but in PA, for them to stay, they have to be retained. The questions are a yes/no as to whether you want them to stay.

That’s separate from appellate court judges on the main ballot. There’s a Supreme Court seat that’s open, there’s a Superior Court seat that’s open and there are two commonwealth court seats that are open.

Attorney Clint Barkdoll, Pat Ryan and Michele Jansen discussed what you’ll see on the ballot recently during the Big Talk on First News.

Jansen said, “What’s interesting when it comes to those judges on the main ballot that you’re voting for, they do identify them by party, but when it comes to retention, they never identify party, for the good or ill. That’s very interesting to me that when you go for retention, you have no idea am I voting for a Republican or a Democrat?”

Barkdoll agreed, “Pennsylvania’s judicial election system is just so odd and in some ways unique to the country because for among other reasons what you just said and then of course they run in primaries and general elections as really partisan races. Even though they’re not allowed to say what their positions are, they run under a party label. They go out and raise money like other politicians and candidates would do, but also remember this year, just like last year, under that change that the General Assembly and the governor made pre-COVID to expand mail-in voting, there’s also no more straight-ticket voting. So you can no longer just go in and check a bubble at the top that says I’m voting for all the Democrats or I’m voting for all the Republicans. You must go through each race now and vote individually on all of these different vacancies.”

Jansen pointed out, “For judges it shouldn’t matter because they’re supposed to follow the constitution. It really shouldn’t matter whether they’re Democrat or Republican. Unfortunately as we’ve seen with every other institution in this country, we are so politicized. We are so ideological now that you do have worry about well, which ideological bent is somebody? I’d actually prefer somebody who really wants to follow the constitution and sadly, that’s fallen to one side of the political spectrum right now.”

Sample ballots and information for Franklin County, Pa., are here: https://franklincountypa.gov/index.php?section=voter-registration_precinct-info

For Fulton County, Pa.:

https://www.co.fulton.pa.us/elections-sample-ballots-2021b.php

Resources for Adams County, Pa.:

http://www.adamscounty.us/Dept/ElectVoteReg/Pages/ElectionResources.aspx