House Votes To End District Judge Re-Election Petition Rules

Oct 10, 2018

Pennsylvania lawmakers are voting to repeal the requirement that incumbent district judges must collect signatures when running for re-election, a measure prompted by security concerns.

The House voted 128 to 65 Wednesday to eliminate the need for sitting district judges to collect 100 signatures to qualify for the ballot.

District judges set bail, preside over lower-level criminal and civil matters and preliminary hearings for more serious charges.

They don't have to be lawyers, and many are former police officers.

Representatives opposed to the bill say the safety issues are overblown and that it's not fair to exempt incumbents from signature rules that challengers must follow.

The bill is headed to Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. His office says he'll review it and decide whether to support it or veto it.