mAY 18, 2021 PRIMARY Election Voter Guide

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Candidate lists haven't been finalized yet, but there will be several statewide races on the ballot where registered Republicans and Democrats will select nominees for vacancies on the Supreme, Superior and Commonwealth courts. There are also three statewide ballot questions with proposed changes to the Pennsylvania Constitution. There will also be local elections held in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.

Pennslyvania Appellate Court Elections
  • PA Supreme Court: Chief Justice Thomas Saylor (R) will reach the mandatory retirement age of 75 later this year and must vacate his seat. Justice Max Baer, a 73-year-old Allegheny County Democrat, is in line to succeed him because of his seniority on the Court. Currently, Democrats hold a 5-2 majority on the seven-member court.

  • Superior Court: Judge Susan Gantman (R) is retiring. Currently, Republicans hold an 8-7 majority on the 15-member court.
     
  • There will be two vacancies on the Commonwealth Court: President Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt (R) is retiring and Judge Drew Compton (R), who was appointed to his seat in 2020 to fill an unexpired term, must run to retain his seat. Republicans hold a 7-2 majority on this nine-member court.

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Local Elections in Southeast Pennsylvania

In Bucks County, registered Republicans and Democrats will select nominees for District Attorney, Sheriff, Prothonotary, Recorder of Deeds and Controller, as well as one seat on the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas and six Magisterial District Court judgeships and numerous municipal and School Board offices.

In Chester County, registered Republicans and Democrats will select nominees for County Treasurer, Controller, Clerk of Courts and Coroner, as well as two Common Pleas Court judgeships, eight Magisterial District Court seats and numerous municipal and School Board offices.

In Delaware County, registered Republicans and Democrats will select nominees for Sheriff, Controller, Register of Wills and two seats on the County Council, as well as two Common Pleas Court judgeships, seats on Magisterial District Courts and numerous municipal and School Board offices.

In Montgomery County, registered Republicans and Democrats will select nominees for one seat on the County Court of Common Pleas, 10 Magisterial District Court judgeships and one Republican and one Democrat for Jury Commissioner, as well as numerous municipal and School Board offices.

In Philadelphia County, registered Republicans and Democrats will select nominees for District Attorney and City Controller, and to fill eight vacancies on the Court of Common Pleas and three on the Municipal Court. Also nominated will be candidates for Judge of Elections and Inspector of Elections in the city’s 1703 voting divisions.

Statewide Ballot Questions

Voters across Pennsylvania will weigh in on three proposed changes to the state constitution. Learn more at Ballotpedia.

Equal Rights Regardless of Race or Ethnicity Amendment

Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended by adding a new section providing that equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged because of an individual’s race or ethnicity?

Emergency Declaration Amendment

Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to change existing law so that: a disaster emergency declaration will expire automatically after 21 days, regardless of the severity of the emergency, unless the General Assembly takes action to extend the disaster emergency; the Governor may not declare a new disaster emergency to respond to the dangers facing the Commonwealth unless the General Assembly passes a concurrent resolution; the General Assembly enacts new laws for disaster management?

Legislative Resolution to Extend or Terminate Emergency Declaration Amendment

Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to change existing law and increase the power of the General Assembly to unilaterally terminate or extend a disaster emergency declaration—and the powers of Commonwealth agencies to address the disaster regardless of its severity pursuant to that declaration—through passing a concurrent resolution by simple majority, thereby removing the existing check and balance of presenting a resolution to the Governor for approval or disapproval?

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