Candidates prepared for primary elections in Philadelphia

Redacción Agencias | 5/16/2017, 7:27 a.m.
Candidates prepared for primary elections in Philadelphia
Este martes 17 de mayo son las elecciones primarias en Filadelfia | Foto Cortesía

The heat is on the office of district attorney — and that’s both a good and bad thing. The bad heat is the scandal brought down on the office by Seth Williams, who has spent the last few months crashing and burning because of a 23-count indictment (which was followed this past week by additional charges). The upside of this unfortunate chapter is that it helps clarify some priorities for the next district attorney. Certainly, ethics should be close to the top of the list. But the new DA will also take over in the middle of a wider call for criminal justice reform – primarily focused on reducing a staggering prison population. The field of candidates, many of whom hold similar positions, is very strong, including former prosecutors and a civil rights defense attorney.

Two questions are on the ballot. Ballot Question No. 1 would amend the city charter “to allow for the award of certain contracts based on the best value to the city.”

Question No. 2 calls for creation of a Community Reinvestment Commission to help deal with the city’s large problems.

Here's all you need to know

When is the Primary election?

The election will take place Tuesday, May 16. It will set the stage for the general election, scheduled for Nov. 7.

What's on the ballot?

It's important stuff, but unlike last year when the focus was on the presidential race, most of what you'll see on the ballot are local, municipal races. This is the election where Republicans and Democrats get to decide their candidates for county, township, borough and school board seats across the Commonwealth.

Some local governments will also ask voters to decide referendum questions. For example, Camp Hill residents will be asked to vote on whether to allow liquor sales in the borough.

There also will be statewide races to decide who the Republican and Democratic candidates will be for seats on the state Supreme, Superior and Commonwealth courts.

Where do I vote?

In the precinct assigned to you. Check your voter registration card, or just use the state website to find the location.

Do I have to show ID?

The only voters who much show ID at the polls are first-time voters or people voting in a new location for the first time.

Can I still vote if there's an issue with my eligibility?

Maybe. If there is a question regarding a your eligibility and it cannot be resolved at the polling place, you have the right to record your vote with a provisional ballot. The provision ballot will be counted if election officials can later verify the voter's eligibility.

What are the hours?

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you are in line when the polls close, you will be able to cast your vote.

Who should I call if I have a voting problem?

Each Pennsylvania county has an office dedicated to dealing with voter issues. Here's a breakdown of the midstate election offices by county.

Perry County: 717-582-2131

York County: 717-771-9604

Lancaster County: 717-299-8293

Cumberland County: 717-240-6385

Dauphin County: 717-780-6360

Lebanon County: 717- 228-4428