State

Election Day is coming soon. Here’s a quick guide to statewide races

Understanding the Electoral College: ‘A process not a place’

Devised in 1787, the purpose of the Electoral College was a compromise to set a balance between those who wanted the popular vote to determine the election and those who didn't want public input. The number of Congress members a state has is how m
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Devised in 1787, the purpose of the Electoral College was a compromise to set a balance between those who wanted the popular vote to determine the election and those who didn't want public input. The number of Congress members a state has is how m

U.S. senator

The U.S. Constitution prescribes that the Senate be composed of two senators from each state (therefore, the Senate has 100 members) and that a senator must be at least 30 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.

  • Choose 1 candidate

Lou Barletta

Party: Republican

Mailing address: P.O. Box 128, Hazleton, PA 18201

Campaign phone: 570-501-8683

Campaign email: info@loubarletta.com

Date of birth: Jan. 28

Municipality: Hazleton City

County: Luzerne

Website: www.LouBarletta.com

Twitter: twitter.com/louforsenate

Facebook: Facebook.com/louforsenate

Education: Attended Bloomsburg State College (Bloomsburg University) where I majored in elementary education.

Qualifications: As a former small business owner, mayor of Hazleton and member of Congress, I have a strong record of standing up and fighting for people in my community.

Q: What are your top three priorities in office?

A: My top three priorities are keeping Pennsylvania’s families safe, protecting Pennsylvania jobs, and standing up for the men and women who serve our communities. More than anything, people want someone willing to fight for them, when no one else will. That’s what I have always done, and that’s why I’m running for the U.S. Senate.

Q: If elected, what will you do to ensure that the voting rights of all Americans are protected and that our elections are accessible and secure from internal and external threats?

A: Congress has a constitutional duty to preserve the integrity of our democracy and ensure that our elections are both free and fair. As a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, I have worked with my colleagues to make sure our voting systems are secure. I recently voted for increased funding for states to improve their election security, as well as increased funding to counter Russian cyberattacks. I also spoke out against the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to throw out Pennsylvania’s bipartisan, constitutionally drawn congressional map in the middle of the election, creating chaos and confusion among voters.

Q: What steps will you take to ensure that the upcoming census is fully funded, accurate, and avoids under-counting?

A: The census is important to provide legislators with accurate information to make informed policy decisions that are in the best interest of our country. I continue to support efforts to fund the census and ensure that it accurately reflects our nation’s demographics.

Bob Casey
Bob Casey, Jr.

Party: Democratic

Mailing address: P.O. Box 58746, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Campaign phone: 412-335-4034

Campaign email: info@bobcasey.com

Date of birth: April 13, 1960

Municipality: Scranton

County: Lackawanna

Website: bobcasey.com

Twitter: twitter.com/Bob_Casey

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BobCaseyJr/?ref=br_rs

Education: Holy Cross B.A. 1982, Catholic University law degree 1988

Qualifications: Auditor general of Pennsylvania 1997-2005; treasurer of Pennsylvania 2005-2007; United States senator 2007-present

Q: What are your top three priorities in office?

A: The top three issues I am focused on are increasing access to affordable health care, protecting the programs Pennsylvanians depend on and helping working families get ahead. That means stopping the Trump administration’s sabotage of our health care system, defeating Republican attacks on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, and fighting to raise wages, protect the rights of organized labor and eliminate the obstacles holding working families back.

Q: If elected, what will you do to ensure that the voting rights of all Americans are protected and that our elections are accessible and secure from internal and external threats?

A: The right to vote has been called our most precious right, and the “primary right by which all other rights are protected.” I supported The Voting Rights Reconstruction Act of 2015, legislation which would restore the Voting Rights Act, and I oppose efforts to suppress voter turnout, and support measures to make voting easier for people. I oppose voter ID laws, and favor restoring voting rights to people after they have served their sentences. During the Kavanaugh confirmation fight, I have been working to make clear that I expect our next Supreme Court justice to protect voting rights and not dismantle the tools by which they are protected. No one should be stop eligible voters from casting their ballot. Earlier this year, I helped to secure $13 million from the Election Assistance Commission to help secure Pennsylvania’s election systems, and I am working in the Senate to appropriate more funds for election security.

Q: What steps will you take to ensure that the upcoming census is fully funded, accurate and avoids under-counting?

A: I will fight to ensure that the census is fully funded and I oppose Trump administration efforts to undercount people in marginalized communities. It is vital that the census is accurate so that Americans are fairly represented in Congress.

Neal Taylor Gale.jpg
Neal Taylor Gale

Party: Green

Mailing address: 2214 Jenkintown Road, Glenside, PA 19038

Campaign phone: 267-825-4190

Campaign email: contact@gale2018.com

Date of birth: Jan. 31, 1952

Municipality: Abington Township

County: Montgomery

Website: gale2018.com

Twitter: twitter.com/NealGale2018

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Neal-Gale-for-US-Senate-962747823894443

Education: Drexel University - architecture

Qualifications: For the past 40 years I have worked in the energy conservation and efficiency fields, currently managing a comprehensive, low-income energy affordability program in conjunction with the six investor-owned utilities, in New Jersey.

Q: What are your top three priorities in office?

A: 1. Remove corporate, PAC, lobbyist and other special interests’ money from the political process, to end the influence of those groups on specific legislation and the buying of political favors. 2. Generate the political will at the federal level of government to implement a transition from our existing fossil fuel economy to a 100 percent renewable energy economy, acknowledging the existential threat that climate change represents. 3. Reform our economic model to favor all of our citizens, not just the wealthiest 1 percent. This will include the re-regulation of the financial industries and the recognition that the economy should support a baseline standard of living, below which no one may be allowed to fall.

Q: If elected, what will you do to ensure that the voting rights of all Americans are protected and that our elections are accessible and secure from internal and external threats?

A: I will fight for legislation to make voter registration as accessible as possible for all citizens, reversing unwarranted restrictions on voters. I would like to see election day become a national holiday and I would support federal funding to provide election day transportation for those citizens who would otherwise be unable to reach their polling place. I will support fair districting practices throughout the country, beginning with Pennsylvania. I will also champion the cause of providing resources to bring the latest voting technology into our polling places, replacing the existing, digital screen machines with those that incorporate paper balloting. I will support legislation to demand intelligence resources be assigned to recognize and thwart any attempts to alter our electoral system, by any means, digital or otherwise.

Q: What steps will you take to ensure that the upcoming census is fully funded, accurate and avoids under-counting?

A: I will review the proposed process to be used for the 2020 census, and introduce legislation that will ensure an accurate, unbiased count throughout the country. This will require a large number of well-trained census workers, canvassing urban areas, and rural districts, where citizens are less available to be counted, or are not comfortable responding to census forms. The entire process will need to be overseen by a competent supervisory team, knowledgeable in the significance and importance of accurate census data, eager to maintain accurate counts and records. I will also include in the legislation a spending request so that all necessary resources will be adequately funded.

Dale R Kerns Jr.jpg
Dale R. Kerns Jr.

Party: Libertarian

Mailing address: 608 Duryea Drive, Swarthmore, PA 19081

Campaign phone: 207-205-9133

Campaign email: jodermatt@dalekerns.com

Date of birth: Nov. 11, 1983

Municipality: Ridley Township

County: Delaware

Website: dalekerns.com

Twitter: twitter.com/DaleKernsJr

Facebook: www.facebook.com/KernsDale

Education: Widener University - professional studies, project management/sociology; master electrician by trade

Qualifications: Founder and president of the Little Angels Foundation. Cabot Creamery Community Celebrity winner for volunteerism. Over seven years in the nonprofit sector in a volunteer capacity. Recently appointed to the James A. Masterson Foundation advisory board.

Q: What are your top three priorities in office?

A: 1. We must address the opioid epidemic and end the war on drugs. When I get to the U.S. Senate, I will sponsor legislation that will fundamentally change how we view drug problems and move our system to one similar to Portugal or Switzerland, where drug addiction is treated as a medical issue. 2. Education is one of the most important issues our nation and commonwealth face. As a father to two daughters, I am not pleased with the options (or lack thereof) that most parents have. I will vote to abolish the federal Department of Education and return decisions to parents, students and local communities. 3. Our immigration system is broken. It can take decades for individuals to immigrate to this country legally. We should welcome those who come to the United States to make a better life for their families. Our communities have been built on the hard work of immigrants. I will vote to abolish ICE and to reform our immigration system by making it easier for good people to legally immigrate.

Q: If elected, what will you do to ensure that the voting rights of all Americans are protected and that our elections are accessible and secure from internal and external threats?

A: I would work in the Senate to ensure that those who wish to vote can do so without any unnecessary hurdles. This would include rigid enforcement of the 14th and 15th amendments and support of early voting and same-day voter registration, as well as opposition to any new voter ID laws. States maintain the right to conduct their elections as they please, but they must also abide by the aforementioned constitutional requirements, which were designed to protect the sanctity of the voting booth.

Q: What steps will you take to ensure that the upcoming census is fully funded, accurate and avoids under-counting?

A: Like any other government agency, the census should be held to high standards and tight budget restraints. As a U.S. senator, I will insist that all possible options are explored, and that only the best companies and individuals are selected to partake in the census. This would include a rigorous vetting and screening process. Competition and accountability will vastly improve the results which we receive.

Governor

The governor of Pennsylvania is an elected constitutional officer, the head of the executive branch and the highest state office in Pennsylvania. The governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and is limited to two consecutive terms.

  • Choose 1 candidate.

Paul Glover
Paul Glover.jpg

Party: Green

Mailing address: 608 S. Mount Pleasant Road, Philadelphia, PA 19119

Campaign phone: 215 805-8330

Campaign email: paul5glover@yahoo.com

Date of birth: July 18, 1947

Municipality: Philadelphia

County: Philadelphia

Website: paulglover.org/governor

Twitter: twitter.com/metroecos

Facebook: www.facebook.com/glover4governor

Education: Degrees in marketing and in city management

Qualifications: Taught urban studies at Temple University. Taught ecological economics at Philadelphia University. Founder of more than a dozen organizations for ecology and justice. Author of six books on community economic development.

Q: What are your top three priorities in office?

A: 1. Shift the state budget toward ecology and justice. Aggressively fund energy efficiencies and expand tax credits for solar/wind/ cogeneration, to reduce demand for fossil fuels and end fracking. Move money from prisons to jobs and schools, and from roadbuilding to transit. 2. Fully employ all Pennsylvanians to rebuild cities, suburbs and farms toward balance with nature, partly with regional credits and regional stock exchanges, as described in my book “Green Jobs Philly.” I will establish the Green Labor Administration (GLAD) to employ 500,000 Pennsylvanians without raising taxes. The larger purpose is to begin the transition from the middle class to what I call the mutual class. 3. Permit formation of community-based medical cooperatives, to provide a genuinely nonprofit base for statewide universal health coverage that is affordable, democratic and humane. This is how Canada’s single payer system began.

Q: Do you support reforming our congressional and legislative redistricting process to implement an independent citizen’s redistricting commission? Why or why not?

A: Support independent drafting of legislative boundaries. Computer-generated drafts should inform the commission. Meetings should be transparent, with public welcome.

Q: Which voting modernization reforms (such as no-excuse absentee voting, early voting, same day voter registration, additional funding for voting technology upgrades) would you support to ensure that our elections are accessible, efficient and secure?

A: Favor returning to paper ballots, permitting no-excuse absentee voting, early voting, same day registration. The Green Party has long advocated instant runoff voting, also known as ranked choice voting, to end the “spoiler” argument against minor parties.

Ken V Krawchuk.jpg
Ken V. Krawchuk

Party: Libertarian

Mailing address: P.O. Box 260 Cheltenham, PA 19012

Campaign phone: 224-Krawchuk

Campaign email: Campaign@KenK4Pa.com

Date of birth: Feb. 25, 1953

Municipality: Abington

County: Montgomery

Website: KenK4Pa.com

Twitter: twitter.com/kenk4pa

Facebook: www.facebook.com/KenK4Pa

Education: B.S. physics St. Joseph’s University, Abington Citizens Police Academy

Qualifications: Business owner, student of the Pennsylvania Constitution, distinguished Toastmaster, inventor with three U.S. patents, author, husband, father, grandfather and a good sense of humor.

Q: What are your top 3 priorities in office?

A: The theme of the Krawchuk campaign is death and taxes. My goal is to reduce both dramatically. Under the two old parties, the cost of government has been rising on average at over three times the inflation rate for over 50 years. To end that trend, I promise to veto every tax increase, aggressively use the line item veto, eliminate property taxes and reduce the corporate tax. To reduce deaths, it’s time to end the opioid crisis. Four out of five opioid deaths can be prevented by following Portugal’s example and ending the insane war on drugs. Addiction should be treated as a medical issue, not a criminal one. To help save lives, the right to keep and bear arms should be strongly supported because gun control kills. John Lott, a researcher at the University of Chicago, found that if a woman resists an attacker, she’s twice as likely to be seriously injured. But if she resists with a handgun, she’s half as likely to be seriously injured. In other words, handguns are a girl’s best friend.

Q: Do you support reforming our congressional and legislative redistricting process to implement an independent citizen’s redistricting commission? Why or why not?

A: I strongly support reforming our redistricting process. Look at any map of political districts and you can plainly see that the legislature has failed horribly in its constitutionally mandated task to create “election districts of compact and contiguous territory.” An independent redistricting commission would certainly be a step in the right direction, but there is a better, broader solution, not only to redistricting, but also to midnight pay raises, unfair ballot access, illegal gun grabs and more. That solution would be to re-establish the “Council of Censors” created by Benjamin Franklin. The council was composed of two citizens from each city and county whose role was to “censure” the legislators by vetoing legislation that was not in keeping with the constitution, calling constitutional conventions, even ordering impeachments. The council was eliminated a few short months after Franklin’s death; it would honor Pennsylvania’s most famous citizen if it were re-established.

Q: Which voting modernization reforms (such as no-excuse absentee voting, early voting, same day voter registration, additional funding for voting technology upgrades) would you support to ensure that our elections are accessible, efficient and secure?

A: There are two ways to subvert an election: Stop honest citizens from voting, and stop worthy candidates from running. To make certain voting is honest, I strongly support voter-verifiable ballots. The way they work, when you vote you get two printouts of your vote. One copy is yours to keep as a record, and the other is signed by the voter and kept by the state as the official record and to be used for recounts. The chances for hacking an election vanish. To encourage worthy candidates to run, ballot access for independents and third parties should be made equal to that of the two old parties, as mandated by the Pennsylvania Constitution, not 2 1/2 to 33 times higher. For example, this year I needed 5,000 signatures to get my name on the ballot for governor. The statewide candidates from the two old parties only needed 1,000 or 2,000. Is that equal? Is that fair?

Scott Wagner.jpg
Scott R. Wagner

Party: Republican

Mailing address: 1630 Wyndham Drive S, York, PA 17403

Campaign phone: 717-650-2938

Campaign email: scott@wagnerforgov.com

Date of birth: Sept. 21, 1955

Municipality: Spring Garden Township

County: York

Website: wagnerforgov.com

Twitter: twitter.com/realScottWagner

Facebook: www.facebook.com/wagnerforgovernor

Q: What are your top three priorities in office?

A: Overhauling governmental impositions is a top priority. On day one, I will employ zero-based budgeting, introducing a transparent budget process that will make sense for taxpayers and investing in what works to end wasteful and ineffective spending. With over 153,000 regulations and a regulatory authority out of control, meaningful regulation reform must be implemented, such as my current proposal to count, cap and reduce. Second, I have been all over Pennsylvania and I have heard my mission loud and clear. I will eliminate property taxes as governor. Many of our children are receiving an outstanding education, but the reality is that too many students are graduating from high school without the necessary skills to be successful in college or the workforce. We must retool and redesign our education system to ensure today’s students are adequately prepared to be tomorrow’s adults. Without a major overhaul, we will continue to do a great disservice to our children and their educators.

Q: Do you support reforming our congressional and legislative redistricting process to implement an independent citizen’s redistricting commission? Why or why not?

A: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to overstep its bounds and override the legislature by drawing its own maps did a great disservice to the citizens of Pennsylvania. In light of this travesty, I would support an independent citizens redistricting commission to ensure that Pennsylvanians will have access to fair and equal elections when it comes time to work on maps after the 2020 census.

Q: Which voting modernization reforms (such as no-excuse absentee voting, early voting, same day voter registration, additional funding for voting technology upgrades) would you support to ensure that our elections are accessible, efficient and secure?

A: Pennsylvania is among only 13 states that do not use paper ballots or have paper backup systems for electronic voting machines. I support the decision of the Department of State to require counties to replace their voting machines with systems that have paper trails. Pennsylvania has received $13.5 million in federal funding and the state is also required to provide a 5 percent match to this money. Thus, Pennsylvania has $14.15 million to help counties fund the purchase of these new voting machines. It is critical that state government make sure that counties have adequate funds available to ensure that they can meet their responsibility as it relates to voting systems.

Tom Wolf.jpg
Tom Wolf

Party: Democratic

Campaign email: Info@WolfForPa.com

Municipality: Mount Wolf

County: York

Website: wolfforpa.com

Twitter: twitter.com/wolfforpa

Facebook: www.facebook.com/WolfForPA

Education: Dartmouth College (B.A.), the University of London (M.A.), and MIT (Ph.D.)

Qualifications: Business owner, secretary of governor, governor

Q: What are your top three priorities in office?

A: Investing in our kids and schools: I have made clear my strong commitment to education in Pennsylvania by fully restoring education funding cuts made in the previous administration, providing unprecedented support to high-quality pre-K programs, and ensuring students are college and career ready by expanding opportunities for career and technical education. Grow jobs and support workers: I have eliminated burdensome taxes on businesses like the capital stock and franchise tax, and I am working to grow the economy by moving forward on large projects. I have and will continue to invest in manufacturing, apprenticeships and workforce development initiatives. Protect our seniors and access to health care: I took immediate action to provide health insurance to more than 720,000 Pennsylvanians by expanding Medicaid, and under my administration the commonwealth’s uninsured rate is the lowest it has ever been. I have also increased opportunities for seniors to age in their homes.

Q: Do you support reforming our congressional and legislative redistricting process to implement an independent citizen’s redistricting commission? Why or why not?

A: I have long supported a independent citizen’s redistricting commission. We must eliminate partisan politics from the legislative redistricting process by enacting legislation to end gerrymandering by establishing an independent, bipartisan commission to create future electoral maps. I also stood up to the House State Government Committee Republican majority’s last-minute move to gut and replace House Bill 722, which was intended to create an independent redistricting commission, with a redistricting process that is more politically driven. To rebuild trust in Harrisburg, we must have fair and accessible elections for all citizens from our rural communities to our big cities.

Q: Which voting modernization reforms (such as no-excuse absentee voting, early voting, same day voter registration, additional funding for voting technology upgrades) would you support to ensure that our elections are accessible, efficient and secure?

A: Yes, I have long advocated for voting modernization. Upon coming into office, I launched online voter registration and now more than a million Pennsylvanians have used it. I also launched a voter information texting initiative and a program to get high school seniors to register to vote. I also directed the Pennsylvania Department of State to require new voting machines to have a voter-verifiable paper ballot or paper record of votes cast. I recently launched a 21st century voting reform plan that includes same day voter registration, automatic voter registration, modernization of absentee ballots, campaign finance reform and gerrymandering reform.

Lieutenant governor

  • Choose 1 candidate

Jeff Bartos

Party: Republican

Municipality: Lower Merion Township

County: Montgomery

Candidate did not provide information.

Jocolyn Bowser-Bostick
Jocolyn Bowser-Bostick.jpg

Party: Green

Mailing address: 726 E. 25th St., Chester, PA 19013

Campaign phone: 610-662-4502

Campaign email: jbowserb@yahoo.com

Date of birth: Oct. 7, 1960

Municipality: City of Chester

County: Delaware

Facebook: www.facebook.com/green4justiceandtruth

Education: B.A. degree in biology from Temple University

Qualifications: I will excel as a lieutenant governor because my scientific background and life experiences have prepared me to be a critical thinker, a leader and adept at conducting comprehensive research and reading and intelligently analyzing large amounts of data.

Q: What are your top three priorities in office?

A: 1. Reduce the future environmental damage and human suffering from climate change and the current ruination of people’s health, safety and property values by banning gas and oil fracking and the building of pipelines that carry gas or natural gas liquids. We must improve energy efficiency, use less energy, and eliminate dirty energy systems of which fossil fuels are the biggest component by becoming 100 percent reliant by 2050 on clean and renewable energy sources. By adopting laws such as HB2132/SB1140 that reinforce the goal of becoming solely reliant on 100 percent clean energy we will improve our health, save lives and create thousands of green jobs. 2. End poverty that forces people to live in unhealthy homes, be homeless, and fear that they or their family members will have to go hungry or do without vital medical/mental health services. 3. Protect the economic, social and political rights of women, racial minorities, believers of any faith and those of any gender identity or sexual orientation.

Q: Do you support reforming our congressional and legislative redistricting process to implement an independent citizen’s redistricting commission? Why or why not?

A: Yes. Citizens not holding political office should decide because voting is supposed to help maintain a just and orderly society and they should help decide how things should work politically because the quality of their lives will be improved or destroyed based on how these districts are organized.

Q: Which voting modernization reforms (such as no-excuse absentee voting, early voting, same day voter registration, additional funding for voting technology upgrades) would you support to ensure that our elections are accessible, efficient and secure?

A: There must be online and same-day registration, early voting and an election day as a holiday. The Electoral College should be eliminated but as long as we have it legislation must be passed that forces the votes of these delegates in Pennsylvania to reflect the popular vote in Pennsylvania. Our elections throughout Pennsylvania should be decided by STAR voting and proportional representation. New voting machines must be used throughout Pennsylvania that have verifiable paper ballots and are not connected to the internet.

John Fetterman
Fetterman.jpg

Party: Democratic

Mailing address: P.O. Box F, Braddock, PA 15104

Campaign phone: 804-519-5233

Campaign email: hello@johnfetterman.com

Date of birth: Aug. 15, 1969

Municipality: Braddock

County: Allegheny

Website: www.johnfetterman.com

Twitter: twitter.com/JohnFetterman

Facebook: www.facebook.com/JohnFettermanPA

Education: Albright College 1991; Harvard University master’s in public policy 1999

Qualifications: Mayor of Braddock for 13 years — drastically reduced food and clothing insecurity. eliminated heat insecurity this year, successfully implemented community policing model; founder of Braddock Redux; director for out-of-school youth program.

Q: What are your top three priorities in office?

A: I will be a progressive backstop for the governor, advocate for economic justice and our forgotten communities in Pennsylvania, and utilize and transform the office of the lieutenant governor to its fullest potential.

Q: Do you support reforming our congressional and legislative redistricting process to implement an independent citizen’s redistricting commission? Why or why not?

A: Congressional and legislative districts should be drawn to ensure that candidates and elected officials are held accountable by voters. Boundaries should protect the interests of all voters and protect voting rights, and should not show preference to one political affiliation. We recently had a huge win with redistricting in Pennsylvania. I would certainly support formalized citizen input for a more fair and unbiased redistricting process.

Q: Which voting modernization reforms (such as no-excuse absentee voting, early voting, same day voter registration, additional funding for voting technology upgrades) would you support to ensure that our elections are accessible, efficient and secure?

A: I support any reform that gets more people to turn out to vote, and makes voting easier. In addition to the above measures I think we should make Election Day a holiday and get more working people to the polls.

Kathleen S. Smith

Party: Libertarian

Facebook: www.facebook.com/kathy4ltgov

Campaign website: kenk4pa.com

Candidate did not provide information.

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