Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8 and there’s no need to head to the polls clueless. WESA has a handy guide the help you through it.
Let’s start with where to find your polling place. You can find yours online by entering your address here. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Allegheny County Elections Office recommends going around noon if you’re looking to get in and out easily. (Note: Polling places may still be busy, because voter turnout this year is expected to be higher this year than past years.) Just don't expect an "I Voted" sticker in Allegheny County — here's why.
Most people are likely familiar with the presidential candidates and know who'll they'll be voting for -- unless you're #KenBone. Here's what five local families think about the candidates. But here's some more information on the other political offices (and ballot measures) you'll be voting for on Tuesday:
Incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Toomey is seeking re-election. He's running a close race against Democratic challenger and former chief of staff to Gov. Tom Wolf, Katie McGinty. Here they are on the Iran Nuclear Deal, gun violence, abortion and the economy. Their race is so hot, it brought in a torrent of outside cash. If elected, McGinty would also be the state's first female Senator. Here's a look at Pennsylvania's trouble electing females to political office (18 percent of the state legislature is female, as opposed to 51 percent of the state's population).
After former Treasurer Rob McCord resigned and pleaded guilty to federal charges that he tried to shake down potential donors for his gubernatorial campaign, Timothy Reese, an independent, took over -- but he's not running. Democrat Joseph Torsella, a former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, who is endorsed by President Obama, and Republican veteran businessman Otto Voit are running for the office. Voit wants the Treasury Department to take an active approach to the state's unclaimed properties. Green Party candidate and Philadelphia teacher Kristin Combs and Libertarian small business owner James Babb are also running.
Ex-Attorney General Kathleen Kane was just convicted of perjury and obstruction and sentenced to 10-23 months in jail and eight years' probation. (Some say moving the capital to Pittsburgh or Philadelphia could help with our politicians breaking the law). Now, Democrat and Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro is seeking the office. He said he "inherited a mess in Montgomery County," but "turned it around," which is what he plans to do in office. He faces Republican opponent John Rafferty, who won a seat on the state Senate four times, served as a township supervisor and school board member.
Current Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is seeking another term. The Democrat loves finding savings and said he returned more than $36,000 in unused taxpayer money to the state. He faces Republican and Northampton County Executive John Brown, who wants to boost the efficiency of municipalities, school districts and state agencies -- a "watchdog, not a lapdog." Green Party candidate John Sweeney, auditor of Falls Township, said he wants to combine PennDOT and the Turnpike Commission. Retired businessman and Libertarian Roy Minet would like to shrink government, if elected.
Increasing retirement age of PA Supreme Court Justices From 70 to 75
Currently, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justices must retire at age 70. But this ballot measure would increase the mandatory retirement age to 75. Some argue it's a needless change. And some say the confusing ballot wording works in the favor of Republicans.
If this election has you fearful, one way or the other, you're not alone. Usually that fear sends people to the right, but this year could be different. And if you're worried about someone hacking Pennsylvania's voting machines, don't -- they're too old. It's also been a pretty negative campaign cycle, but local teachers are determined not to let it bog down their classrooms.
And of course, on Election Night, you can track Allegheny County's unofficial results here.