Municipal primary elections are significant elections, but many voters fail to participate because they don’t know anything about the candidates. The League of Women Voters has a one-stop website where you can find out who and what is on your ballot, vote411.org.
This year, there are 572 candidates running in 304 races in Bucks County alone and every candidate was invited by the League to submit their answers to questions directly to Vote411. The majority responded. By entering your address, you can see the unedited responses of just those candidates who will be on your ballot. You can do a side-by-side comparison of the candidates and decide which one best represents your views. And then you can print out your choices to take with you to the polls.
In a primary election, candidates for school board, county judicial courts, and district magistrate courts can cross file, which means that they can run in both the Republican and Democratic primary races. This is allowed because these positions are considered to be not political, or at least less political than other positions being voted upon. Cross filing can conceivably have races decided at the point of the primary election, making voter participation in the municipal primary that much more important.
In addition to the election of candidates for state, county and local offices, there will be four ballot questions for voters to consider. Note that while only registered Republicans or Democrats can vote for candidates in the primary election, ALL voters can vote for the ballot questions. Vote411 provides nonpartisan descriptions of these issues, including background information and arguments for and against each.
The League of Women Voters of Bucks County urges you to participate in this important election on May 18.
Monica Weninger and Jean Weston, co-presidents, League of Women Voters of Bucks County