Pennsylvania’s municipal primary is coming up Tuesday, and perhaps unlike any other election on the calendar, it requires a little bit of effort on the part of voters.
Let’s explain: It shouldn’t be any easier or harder to get to a polling place and cast a ballot than it was last November, or in the primary election in 2022. In fact, odds are pretty good that you’ll be able to zip right in and out, since turnout for municipal primary elections tends to be pretty tepid – two years ago, it almost reached 25%, and that was actually pretty good compared to what it is typically. In some years, it doesn’t even break 20%.
It’s a given that turnout is highest in presidential elections because the chief executive is the one figure all voting-age Americans can weigh in on, and those quadrennial contests get heaps and heaps of media coverage. In the last couple of decades, is there anyone who didn’t have a strong opinion about Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama or George W. Bush?
But municipal elections are not tinged with the same element of epoch-making high drama. These aren’t the history-makers who broker peace deals, move trillion-dollar pieces of legislation and, when it’s all over, are the subject of hefty biographies. The folks on the ballot in municipal elections are your friends and neighbors who approve contracts to get the garbage picked up, who decide what roads need to be fixed, or who should be hired as an assistant school superintendent.
It’s hardly scintillating. But it’s worth your while to find out who the candidates are, what they stand for and if they will best represent us. At a moment when some candidates seem more committed to undermining democracy through election denial or banning library books that offend their sensibilities, it’s crucial that voters read the fine print and kick the tires when it comes to the candidates who are on the ballot next week.
The reality, too, given the way voters of one partisan stripe or another tend to be heavily concentrated in specific localities, is that the primary election is where the action is. In Allegheny County, for instance, whoever wins the Democratic nomination to be the next county executive is more than likely going to be the winner in November given the heavy preponderance of Democratic voters in Pittsburgh and the communities that surround it. In Washington, Greene and Fayette counties, on the other hand, the smart money is on Republican candidates prevailing in November.
So, please, go vote on Tuesday. And vote for candidates who believe in good governance, have ideas on how to make their townships, cities, boroughs, schools or counties better, and who will work well with others to accomplish that.
I already mailed my 3000 absentee ballots so I can stay home tomorrow.
Still implying there is fraud with mail in voting with no proof.
alex - as long as there are democrats there will be voter fraud.
One way to get people to the polls is to make voting a requirement to be eligible for any federal or state programs. No vote no money, no snap,no housing, no medicaid no SS or SSI. Then watch and see the rush to the poll,
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