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May 8-14 Explained: The Candidates And Issues On Your Primary Ballot

A sign encouraging people to vote in a Pittsburgh yard.
Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA
A sign encouraging people to vote in a Pittsburgh yard.

From Pittsburgh's mayoral and council races to what those statewide ballot initiatives really mean, this week's Pittsburgh Explainer checks in with political reporters from around Pennsylvania on what you can expect at the ballot box in the May 18 primary.

Government and accountability editor Chris Potter has been following the Democratic mayoral primary, as well as other citywide races. He profiles the four men seeking Pittsburgh's highest executive office, and explains the ballot initiative about no-knock warrants that voters will see on Tuesday. Allegheny County has only one contested council seat, but as government and accountability reporter An-Li Herring reports, ballots will also include a question for voters regarding solitary confinement at the county jail.

Judicial races are often overlooked contests, but WHYY political reporter Katie Meyer says the courts have significant power in Pennsylvania. She breaks down why voters should care, and how they can determine which candidates share their values.

There will be three constitutional amendment questions on the ballots stemming from statewide initiatives. State Capitol reporter Sam Dunklau reports two are about executive emergency powers, and the third asks about barring racial and ethnic discrimination.

Pittsburgh Explainer is hosted by Liz Reid and produced by Katie Blackley. New episodes come out every Friday. Listen on the NPR One app or subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Katie Blackley is a digital editor/producer for 90.5 WESA, where she writes, edits and generates both web and on-air content for features and daily broadcast. She's the producer and host of our Good Question! series and podcast. She also covers history and the LGBTQ community.