MAY 18, 2021 PRIMARY ELECTION VOTER GUIDE
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In addition to the statewide races and ballot questions, which can be found here, registered Montgomery County 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. Also nominated will be candidates for Judge of Elections and Inspector of Election.
Court of Common Pleas
The Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas is a general jurisdiction trial court located in Norristown. Its 24 full-time judges and five senior judges hear a wide spectrum of cases, including adult and juvenile criminal prosecutions, lawsuits involving money or property, divorce, custody disputes, child support issues, adoptions and estates. Candidates for seats on the Court of Common Pleas must be residents of their districts for at least one year and members of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Bar at the time of filing nomination petitions for office. Terms are for 10 years and the mandatory retirement age is 75. Annual salaries are $188,292 for the president judge and $186,665 for the other judges.
Magisterial District Courts
Montgomery County has 30 Magisterial District Court offices located throughout the county, responsible for adjudicating all traffic citations and parking violations, as well non-traffic citations. The courts also process criminal and private criminal complaints inclusive of arraignments and preliminary hearings, and handle civil and landlord-tenant complaints up to a jurisdictional limit of $12,000. Judges can also administer oaths and perform marriages. Candidates for seats on the Magisterial District Courts must be residents of their districts for at least one year and members of the Pennsylvania Bar or be certified by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts as having successfully completing a rigorous training and education program administered by the Minor Judiciary Education Board. Terms are for six years and the mandatory retirement age is 75. The annual salary is $93,338.
Jury Selection Commission
The Montgomery County Jury Selection Commission is responsible for providing a qualified pool of jurors to ensure the right of all citizens to a trial by an impartial jury. The commission consists of one registered Republican and one registered Democrat. The two winners of the May 18 election are elected to their positions. Terms are four years.
Judge of Election and Inspector of Election
In Pennsylvania, three of the five people who run each polling place on Election Day are elected officials themselves. These positions are Judge of Election and Majority and Minority Inspectors of Election.
The Judge of Election has ultimate responsibility for the conduct of a polling place and the personnel working there, and must take an oath to admit only those voters who are properly registered and entitled to vote, to prevent fraud, deceit or abuse, and to make sure that all votes at the end of the day are accurately tabulated. The Judge is also responsible for opening and closing the polls, and for all the paperwork required on Election Day.
The Majority and Minority Inspectors are responsible for checking voters’ registration documents and preparing certificates to authorize voters to cast their ballots. They ensure that the voting process is legal and administered fairly by verifying the signatures of voters as they sign the poll book. The Inspectors are also responsible for checking to be sure the voting machine numbers are accurate at the end of the day.
Candidates must be 18 years old.
IMPORTANT ELECTION DAY INFORMATION
Voters with questions or issues on Election Day should call the proper authorities:
For voter registration, polling location or other procedural issues 610-278-3275
Report potential election law violations to the District Attorney 610-278-3090