November 3rd could be a historic day for Pennsylvania. Three of the state Supreme Court’s seven seats are up for grabs in this year’s election – the largest number of vacancies in more than 300 years – and voters will decide who fills them.
The three winners of this election will determine the political makeup of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court – and possibly the state and federal legislature – for years to come. Depending on who is elected the Court will be a majority of either Democrats or Republicans.
While it cannot be said for sure what will happen with a Democratic or Republican majority, we do know our state needs fair laws that treat all citizens equally and prioritize Pennsylvanians’ rights and well-being above the aims of corporations and political parties.
Too many Pennsylvanians, particularly low-income households and minorities, continue to struggle with poverty and access to adequate nutrition, quality education, health and family security, and a clean environment.
November 3 is a great opportunity to stand up for equal protections for all Pennsylvanians.
The newly elected justices to Pennsylvania’s highest court will have the final say on laws that govern all aspects of life in our Commonwealth. The cases that the next Supreme Court hears will affect our children’s schools, our air and water, our health and livelihoods, and access to the democratic process itself.
Here is some of what they will be deciding:
- Whether the boundaries of PA’s legislative districts are fair and maximize representative democracy and the power of each person’s vote, or if they will continue to be drawn by political parties to their own advantage, making PA one of the most gerrymandered states in the nation;
- Whether Pennsylvania has an obligation to fully fund the Philadelphia school district and therefore to provide quality public education for all of the state’s low-income children;
- Whether city governments can raise the minimum wage or mandate paid sick leave
- Critical healthcare and employment rights for women, including cases related to reproductive health services, equal pay, and discrimination in the workplace.
There are seven candidates for the three available seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. They are:
|Democratic Candidates||Republican Candidates||Independent Candidate|
|Christine Donohue||Anne Covey||Paul Panepinto|
|Kevin M. Dougherty||Michael A. George|
|David N. Wecht||Judith Olson|
It is essential for all Pennsylvanians, especially those living in poverty, to have equal opportunities and protections under the law. Right now we need Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices who will protect our democratic rights and our rights to economic and social justice.
Your vote is your voice. Make your voice heard by voting on November 3rd.
Election Day is Tuesday, November 3. Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. You do NOT need a Voter ID unless this is your first time voting at your polling place. (Click here for list of acceptable forms of ID.)
Registered voters who are unable to vote at their local polling place due to illness, disability, or who are required to be out of the district on that day can vote by absentee ballot. Applications for absentee ballots can be found at www.votespa.com or at the Allegheny County Elections Division, Room 601 of the County Office Building, located at the corner of Forbes Avenue and Ross Street in downtown Pittsburgh. Completed applications for absentee ballots must be received by the County Board of Elections by 5:00 p.m. on October 27th.
The deadline to register to vote for this election was October 3rd. You can now register online at www.votespa.com for the 2016 elections, including the Presidential and Congressional election as well as other various state and local elections.
Have a criminal conviction? Know your voting rights.
For more election information you can contact the Allegheny County Board of Elections at (412) 350-4500 or the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Citizen Information Center at 1-800-692-7281.