By A. B. Hill
Tuesday, May 18, is primary election day in Pennsylvania.
* What is a primary election?
A primary election is the preliminary step in the process of electing a candidate running for office. Voters cast ballots in the primary to choose their party’s nominees to run in the general election. Pennsylvania is a primary state.
* Who can vote in the primary?
Pennsylvania’s primary election is closed, meaning only registered members can vote for their political party’s candidate (for example, registered Republicans do not vote in the Democratic primary; third party voters cannot vote unless a candidate from their own party is on the ballot; voters who are registered as Independents do not vote at all in primaries).
You do not have to join a political party to vote or to be a candidate for public office. Every registered voter may cast a ballot in the general election.
* Who is running in Pennsylvania’s primary this year?
Statewide, Pennsylvanians will elect a U.S. senator, governor and lieutenant governor. Locally, they will elect members of congress, state representatives and half of the state senate.
* Where can I learn about the candidates’ positions on important issues?
As part of a broad effort to educate people about candidates and their positions on issues important to Catholic voters, the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (PCC) sent a questionnaire to candidates for statewide office to give them the opportunity to make their positions known on key specific issues. The PCC publishes the answers they provide for educational purposes only; the PCC does not endorse candidates for political office. Questionnaire responses are posted online at www.pacatholic.org/faith-politics and on pages 18-24 in this issue.
Most candidates have an official campaign web site that contains information about their views and opinions on many issues. Researching candidates for public office is an important way for voters to inform their conscience before deciding whom to support.
* Why vote in the Pennsylvania primary election?
The issues facing Pennsylvania now and in the coming years present serious moral, ethical and social justice questions. As faithful citizens, it is important to ask ourselves, what are we doing about these questions and concerns? How do we fairly share our blessings and confront the challenges we face? What kind of nation or Commonwealth do we want? What kind of world do we want to help shape? Who will lead our government in pursuing these ends?
The primary election is the first step in the electoral process. To steer Pennsylvania in the right direction, we must start by voting in the primary with an educated and informed conscience.
* Where can I get more information about my polling place?
Details about absentee ballot applications, polling place locations and demonstrations of how to use local voting systems are found online at www.votespa.com.
Hill is Communications Director of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference – the public affairs arm of Pennsylvania’s Catholic bishops and the Catholic dioceses of Pennsylvania.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103