Tuesday's Pa. Primary: What Voters Need to Know

Posted: May 19, 2013

Voters across Pennsylvania have only one statewide contest on Tuesday's primary ballot - the Democratic primary for a seat on Superior Court.

That race is between Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Jack McVay and Municipal Court Judge Joseph C. Waters Jr. of Philadelphia. Republican Vic Stabile of Dauphin County is unopposed. The state bar association has rated all three "recommended."

Locally, voters in Philadelphia and Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties will nominate Democrats and Republicans for seats on Common Pleas, Municipal, and District Court, as well as numerous suburban municipal and school posts.

The primary for Philadelphia's scandal-plagued Traffic Court features 25 Democrats and two Republicans seeking three judgeships - on a bench that the legislature could eliminate by this fall.

The state's voter ID law, still being argued in court, will not be enforced for the primary. Poll officials may ask for ID but won't require it.

In Bucks County, party candidates for several row offices are running unopposed. Incumbent Sheriff Edward "Duke" Donnelley, a Republican, is facing primary opposition from political activist Tom Lingenfelter. Prothonotary Pat Bachtle, a Republican, is opposed by lawyer Michelle Christian.

In Chester County, too, many candidates are running unopposed for party nominations. Voters will nominate candidates for county controller, treasurer, clerk of courts, and coroner. Honeybrook, Phoenixville, and South Coatesville have contested mayoral primaries. Most municipalities have town supervisor or City Council spots open, with a crowded Democratic primary in Coatesville.

In Delaware County, Democrats are hoping to break the GOP's grip on County Council, where two seats are up for grabs. On the Democratic slate are Patricia Worrell, a Chester businesswoman and real estate broker, and Bill Clinton, a member of the Upper Providence Township Council. Two Republicans seeking reelection are David J. White,

a former Ridley Township commissioner, and Mario Civera, a former state representative.

In Montgomery County, the only countywide contests are for two Common Pleas judgeships. The news Tuesday may be about polling places - in April the county commissioners fired the longtime voter services director and installed a Democrat. Republicans have raised concerns that the election's efficiency and integrity will be affected.

Here's what else you need to know to vote:

Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Philadelphia: 215-686-3462 or phillyelection.com.

Bucks: 215-348-6154 or buckscounty.org.

Chester: 610-344-6410 or chesco.org.

Delaware: 610-891-4673 or co.delaware.pa.us/depts/election.html.

Montgomery: 610-278-3275 or montcopa.org.

- Kathy Boccella, Chris Palmer,

Jessica Parks, and Aubrey Whelan

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