Election Day: Exercise the power to vote

Charles Mostoller

Election Day is on Tuesday, and across the state voters will decide the next governor as well as several state offices.

City Commissioner Al Schmidt said he is concerned that some voters may be misinformed about their polling place.
“The curveball that we’ve been hit with was there was in the last 48 hours a mailer sent out to 30,000 registered voters telling them their polling place location, and it was wrong,” Schmidt said. “That’s the issue that concerns us right now.”
The Pennsylvania Working Families Party, which sent out the mailers, issued an apology and pledged to call every one who received the mailer to notify them of the mistake.
But voters encountering problems can also call the Board of Elections.
“Voters can call us and we can direct them to the right polling place,” Schmidt said.
A voter’s hotline was also set up by the non-profit political watchdog Committee of Seventy.
D.A. Seth Williams has also announced a Voter Fraud Task Force to investigate any Election Day allegations.
Making sure your vote is heard
Committee of Seventy is offering a free, dedicated hotline Nov. 4 from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. staffed by independent volunteers.
-Call 1-855-SEVENTY (1-855-738-3689) for help locating your polling place, with voting problems, or more information about candidates.
Board of Elections: 215-686-3462
Voter registration/eligibility questions? 215-686-1590
Voting machine malfunction? 215-686-7800
Missing election materials? 215-686-1530
Absentee ballots/poll workers? 215-686-3469
D.A.’s Office Complaint Intake Unit: 215-686-9641
Other inquiries? Call 311
You can also look up your polling place online using your address at PA Voter Services.
Candidates for governor
Republic incumbent Gov. Tom Corbett, former Pa. attorney general and a former federal prosecutor, is running for his second term. Here are his stances on some political issues:
Corbett says he seeks to cut “wasteful spending” to “find more state dollars to invest in education.” In 2014-15 the state is reportedly giving Philadelphia schools $1.3 billion, out of a $10 billion state education budget.
Corbett supports medical use of marijuana extracts and opposes decriminalizing marijuana possession or legalizing marijuana sale.
Corbett opposes universal background checks, an “assault weapons” ban and the rights of municipalities to create their own gun control laws.
Democratic challenger Tom Wolf, of York, Pa., was Revenue Secretary under former Gov. Ed Rendell, and founded a company, Wolf Furniture. Here’s where he stands on some political issues:
Wolf advocates “a 5 percent severance [fracking/gas extraction] tax, charter school reform, instituting a fair funding formula, and closing unfair tax loopholes” to fund schools.\
Wolf is in favor of decriminalizing possession of under an ounce of marijuana, which has already taken place in Philadelphia. Before legalizing marijuana for sale, Wolf says further studies are needed of states that legalized marijuana.
Wolf advocates for universal background checks for gun owners and banning “assault weapons.”
What else you’ll see on the ballot
There are three ballot questions in Philadelphia.
Question 1 asks whether the city charter should be amended to establish the Office of Sustainability, which would focus on environmentally improvements to city infrastructure.
Question 2 asks whether the city charter should be amended to transfer supervision of Philadelphia prisons from the Department of Public Welfare to a new Department of Prisons.
Question 3 asks if the city should borrow $137,295,000 to go towards streets and sanitation, transit, municipal buildings, parks, recreation and museums, and economic and community development.
Other elections of note:
U.S. Congressman Bob Brady (D-1st) is facing challenger Meg Rath (R)
U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-2nd) is facing challenger Armond James (R)
State Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-170th) is running for 13th Congressional seat (incumbent Alyson Schwartz is not running) against Dee Adcock (R).
State Sen. Tina Tartaglione (D-2nd) is being challenged by John Jenkins (R).
State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams (D-8th) is running unopposed.
In the 4th State Senate district, Art Haywood (D), Ine Reyes (I) and Robin Gilchrist (R) are running for the seat from which Leanna Washington resigned last week after pleading guilty to abuse of office charges.

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