Tomorrow, April 24, is Primary Election Day in the state of Pennsylvania. There are many candidates to consider in this election – not just for president, but also for U.S. senator, state attorney general, state auditor general and state treasurer. Please make the time to cast your vote. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Click here to locate your local polling place.
In Pennsylvania, primary elections are held on a closed basis – this means you must be registered as a Republican to cast a vote for the Republican candidate, or as a Democrat to vote for the Democratic candidate. For example, you could not vote in the Republican primary if you are registered as an Independent.
In order to vote in tomorrow’s Primary Election, you must be registered. Unless you are a first-time voter, you will not be required to show photo ID. For the November 2012 Presidential Election, however, the new state law, Voter Photo ID, will go into effect, and you will be required to show an acceptable form of current photo ID.
The League of Women Voters provides the following election information concerning offices for consideration in the April 24, 2012 Pennsylvania Primary Election:
United States President
Duties: The President is the head of state of the United States of America and is the Chief Executive Officer and Commander in Chief of all military forces. The powers of the President are described in the Constitution and federal law. The President appoints the members of the Cabinet, ambassadors to other nations, and the United Nations, Supreme Court Justices, and federal judges, subject to Senate approval. The President, along with the Cabinet and its agencies, is responsible for carrying out and enforcing the laws of the United States. The President may also recommend legislation to the United States Congress.
How Elected: Every four years, political parties nominate candidates to run for President of the United States in a general election that is held on the first Tuesday in November of years divisible by the number four. Although all parties use conventions to nominate their candidates, in most states the Democratic and Republican parties also run state-wide primary elections. The results of the primary influence how the delegates to their respective party’s convention will cast ballots for candidates for President. The degree to which the result of the primary election influences the votes of delegates at conventions varies from state to state.
Term: Four years. Limit of two terms.
Base Salary: $400,000 per year.
Note: The candidate must have made a public announcement of her/his intention to run for her/his Party’s nomination for President; and, the candidate must meet the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act’s minimum contribution threshold requirements for qualifying for matching funds, based on the most recent data publicly available on the FEC website.
(Vote for One)
UNITED STATES SENATOR
The U.S. Constitution prescribes that the Senate be composed of two Senators from each State (therefore, the Senate currently has 100 Members) and that a Senator must be at least thirty years of age, have been a citizen of the United States for nine years, and, when elected, be a resident of the State from which he or she is chosen. A Senator's term of office is six years and approximately one-third of the total membership of the Senate is elected every two years.
The Senate has several exclusive powers not granted to the House, including consenting to treaties, a precondition to their ratification consenting or confirming appointments of Cabinet secretaries, other federal executive officials, military officers, regulatory officials, ambassadors, and other federal uniformed officers, as well as trial of federal officials impeached by the House.
Term: 6 years
(Vote for 1)
David Christian (Upper Makefield Twp., Bucks Co.)
Marc Scaringi (Camp Hill Boro, Cumberland Co.)
Steven Welch (Charlestown Twp., Chester Co.)
Tom Smith (Plumcreek Twp. Armstrong Co.)
Sam Rohrer (Elverson, Berks Co.)
Joseph Vodvarka (Robinson Twp., Allegheny Co.)
Bob Casey, Jr. (Scranton, Lackawanna Co.)
Duties: The basic duties of the attorney general, as outlined by the Commonwealth Attorneys Act are to: serve as the Commonwealth's chief law enforcement officer; collect all debts, taxes, and account due to the Commonwealth; represent the Commonwealth and all agencies in any action brought by or against the Commonwealth; administer the provision relating to consumer protection laws; represent the Commonwealth and its citizens in any action brought about for violation of the antitrust laws.
Term: 4 Years
Salary: $152,443 per year
(Vote for 1)
David Freed (Camp Hill Borough, Cumberland Co.)
Kathleen Kane (Waverly Twp., Lackawanna Co.)
Patrick Murphy (Bristol Twp., Bucks Co.)
JOB DESCRIPTION: The principal role of the auditor general is to determine whether state funds are being used in accordance with the purpose and guidelines that govern each use of the Commonwealth's dollars. The auditor general conducts financial and performance audits of individuals, state agencies, and organization that receive state funds, including school districts, state liquor stores, and public employee pensions. These audits are designed to measure how effectively government programs are using public money to meet their stated goals and objectives. The office performs more than 6,000 audits each year, and is responsible for auditing all federal funds that are allocated to Pennsylvania state programs
Term: 4 years
(Vote for 1)
Frank Pinto (Middle Paxton, Dauphin Co.)
John Maher (Upper St. Clair, Allegheny Co.)
Eugene DePasquale (West Manchester, York Co.)
The duty of the Pennsylvania Treasurer is to safeguard the Commonwealth's financial assets, which total more than $120 billion in public monies. The office manages several programs in order to better serve the financial needs of Pennsylvanians. The Treasury Department is also responsible for: reuniting unclaimed property with its rightful owner; investigating loss, theft, and fraud involving commonwealth checks; reviewing real estate leases and contracts entered into by commonwealth agencies; maintaining the Pennsylvania contracts electronic library. The Treasurer has specific duties in addition to the oversight of the department: serves as Chair of the Board of Finance and Revenue, which selects banks to serve as depositories for state money; sets interest rates paid on commonwealth deposits; hears and decides state tax appeals.
Term: 4 Years
(Vote for 1)
Diana Irey Vaughan (Nottingham Twp., Washington Co.)
Robert McCord (Lower Merion, Montgomery Co.)
For a printable version of this voter’s guide, along with more detailed candidate information, click here.
For information about the election, contact the Montgomery County Board of Elections, call The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Citizen Information Center at 1-800-692-7281, or visit the Smart Voter website.