Nov. 8 is Election Day–are you prepared for what is on the ballot?
Everyone is talking about the senate rivalry between Fetterman and Oz, but being informed about what will be up and down on the ballot is essential. This election will determine who holds power as the state governor for Pennsylvania, the U.S. Senate as well as the House of Representatives. Hot topics for those people running this year center around abortion rights and access to healthcare, COVID mandates, affordable housing and immigration rights.
If you did not choose to mail in your ballot, you can find where your voting zone is to cast your vote in person. It should be noted that you cannot walk into any poll area to cast your vote; you have to go to the one that aligns with your address in Philadelphia. Head to pavoterservices.pa.gov/Pages/PollingPlaceInfo.aspx to find the address of your polling location.
According to Billy Penn, there will also be two questions on the ballot:
Should The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to create the Department of Aviation and to transfer certain functions related to operations of City airports from the other City agencies to the Department of Aviation?
This question asks voters if the city of Philadelphia should create a Department of Aviation to oversee airports, such as the Philadelphia International Airport and the Northeast Philadelphia Airport. Voting yes would mean the creation of a new city department for aviation instead of operating under the Department of Commerce.
Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to provide for a preference in civil service examinations for qualified graduates of Career Technical Education programs in the School District of Philadelphia?
This question asks if Career Technical Education (CTE) graduates should be given preference points on the civil service examinations.
Now to get into what names are going to be on the ballot and what they would focus on if elected– as according to Billy Penn and the candidates‘ election campaign websites:
For Pa. Governor:
Douglas V. Mastriano (Republican Party)
Mastriano has strong views on reproductive rights and claims he will sign the Heartbeat Bill into law, which means terminating a pregnancy after six weeks would be illegal. Mastriano also wants to end all funding to Planned Parenthood. His campaign website claims that on day one, Mastriano wants to place a ban on assigned-male-at-birth persons from entering girls’ locker rooms and restrooms as well as ban AMAB persons from competing in girls’ sports. Mastriano also wants to ban the teaching of critical race and gender theories in schools.
Other focuses for Matriano include:
- Bring an end to all vaccine mandates
- Make Pennsylvania a constitutional carry state
- Eliminate “no-excuse mail-in voting” and drop boxes
- Pull out of the Regional GreenHouse Gas Initiative and encourage investments in natural gas and coal
- Lower the property tax
Josh Shapiro (Democrat)
Josh Shapiro is the current Attorney General for Pennsylvania. If elected, he claims to veto any attempt at Pa. legislators make to restrict abortion rights. He also promises economic equity for Black Pennsylvanians and wants to invest in clean energy. In addition, Shapiro plans to expand affordable housing opportunities and actively supports LGBTQIA+ rights.
Other issues of interest include:
- Protecting workers’ unions
- Blocking restrictions on mail-in voting
- Creating programs to support small businesses
- Prioritizing school funding and children’s mental health
Christina DiGiulio (Green)
- Get rid of fracking
- Challenge heteronormativity
Matt Hackenburg (Libertarian)
- Second amendment rights
- Decriminalize victimless crimes
Joe Soloski (Keystone)
- Decriminalize cannabis
- Term limits for state representatives
For Pa. Lieutenant governor:
Austin Davis (Democrat)
- Running mate of Josh Shapiro
Carrie Lewis DelRosso (Republican)
- Running mate of Mastriano
Michael Badges-Canning (Green)
- Endorsed by the Green Party
Tim McMaster (Libertarian)
- Endorsed by The Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania
Nicole Shultz (Keystone)
- Representing the Keystone Party
For U.S. Senate:
John Fetterman (Democrat)
John Fetterman is the current Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania. If elected, Fetterman plans on banning members of Congress from owning and trading stocks while encouraging there to be more American-made products. He also supports access to universal healthcare and believes in supporting reproductive rights and abortion. Fetterman also is in favor of passing the Equality Act which would have civil rights laws apply to sexual orientation and gender identity.
Other points of interest for Fetterman are:
- End price gouging
- Support for a more “humane, safe and secure,” immigration system
- Cut taxes for working people
- Fight to strengthen anti-harassment policies in schools and on college campuses
- Support for raising minimum wage to $15 an hour
- Support for workers’ unions
- The legalization of cannabis and expunging past records of “non-violent marijuana offenses”
Mehmet Oz (Republican)
According to his campaign website, if elected, Oz wants to support policies that limit abortion rights and is described as being “100% Pro-Life.” Oz also wants to increase border surveillance by either a “physical wall,” or having more border patrol stationed. Oz also supports having an increase in fossil fuel investments and wants to increase coal production.
Other issues outlined by the Oz campaign include:
- Blocking laws that make it difficult to purchase guns
- Stop universities from raising tuition every year
- Does not support “cashless bail”
Erik Gerhardt (Libertarian)
- Reduce taxes
- Legalize marijuana
- Does not support gender affirming care for trans youth
Richard L. Weiss (Green)
- Supports The Green Party Green New Deal
- Supports easing tensions with China
- Supports medicare and reproductive rights
Daniel Wassmer (Keystone)
- Pro choice
- Pro second amendment
- Take steps to solving public corruption
For U.S. House:
If you are interested in identifying what district you are in, enter your zipcode on ziplock.house.gov. If you are a West Philly resident, you are in the 3rd Congressional district of Pennsylvania.
Brendan Boyle (Democrat, incumbent)
Boyle is endorsed by Congressional Black Caucus PAC, Progressive Turnout Project, the Sierra Club, PennEnvironment, and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
Areas of interest include:
- Expanding healthcare coverage
- Support for working families and debt ceiling reform
Aaron Bashir (Republican)
If elected, Bashir will support higher education for middle class families and help small business owners. He is endorsed by the Pennsylvania GOP.
Other issues Bashir will focus on include:
- Creating jobs in IT, trade and energy
- School choice
Dwight Evans (Democrat, incumbent)
Evans is endorsed by the Congressional Black Caucus PAC, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the Progressive Turnout Project, PennEnvironment, and the Sierra Club. He wants to make fresh food more accessible to people in cities and push for access to affordable housing.
Evans also wants to:
- Increase urban mobility and infrastructure
- Find solutions to gun violence
Christopher Hoeppner (Socialist Workers Party)
The Triangle could not find a campaign website for Hoeppner, but according to Billy Penn, he supports access to affordable housing and healthcare. Hoeppner also shows support for building more unions and working to oppose capitalism.
Mary Gay Scanlon (Democrat, incumbent)
Maru Gay Scanlon is endorsed by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, PennEnvironment, the Sierra Club, and the Progressive Turnout Project.
If elected, Scanlon will focus on:
- Supporting efforts to increase gun safety
- Protecting voting rights
David Galluch (Republican)
According to his campaign, Galluch plans on stopping inflation by supporting policies that support more American and Philadelphia-made products.
Other issues Galluch will focus on:
- Decreasing inflation
- Continued funding of police
If you are interested in identifying what Pa. senate district you are in, visit seventy.org/political-maps-of-philadelphia/state-senate-districts.
Art Haywood (Democrat, incumbent)
Art Haywood supports the independent investigation of deadly police intervention
And also supports funding for diversity, equity and inclusion at state colleges.
Todd Johnson (Republican)
Todd Johnson places concern on blocking abortion rights and also supports the expansion of charter schools.
Anthony Hardy Williams (Democrat, incumbent)
Anthony Hardy Williams is a current democratic whip who has supported a bill which requires people applying for jobs at schools to disclose sexual abuse allegations.
John Hayes (Republican)
John Hayes expresses his opposition to vaccine and mask mandares and does not support the teaching of critical race theory in schools. According to his election campaign website, Hayes wants to cut down on government spending.
If you are interested in identifying what Pa. house district you are in, visit www.vote.pa.gov/Pages/Pennsylvania-Redistricting-House-of-Representative.aspx.
Kevin J. Boyle (Democrat, incumbent)
Boyle does not have an election campaign website. He supports pro-choice funding. Boyle was previously arrested for allegedly violating protection from abuse order, according to an article published by WHYY in Sept. of 2021.
Al Taubenberger (Republican)
Taubenberger believes in installing term limits and wants to improve street safety. If elected, he says he plans to bring down the cost of living in Philadelphia.
Joe Hohenstein (Democrat, incumbent)
If elected, Hohenstein plans on supporting gun safety and making education more inclusive to disabled children. He is endorsed by the Working Families Party, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, UFCW Local 1776 Keystone State and Planned Parenthood.
Mark Lavelle (Republican)
Mark Lavelle is a bipartisan candidate who wants to work with law enforcement. The Triangle could not locate a campaign website.
Ben Waxman (Democrat)
If elected, Waxman wants to maintain vaccine mandates and supports the Green New Deal for Pennsylvania. He also wants to drive support for an increase in affordable housing.
Albert Robles Montas (Republican)
Albert Robles Montas is endorsed by the Philadelphia Republican City Committee. The Triangle could not find his campaign website.
Elizabeth Fiedler (Democrat, incumbent)
Fielder is endorsed by The Democratic Socialists of America, Planned Parenthood, Gov. Wolf and Attorney General Shapiro. If elected, Fielder wants to invest in public school repairs.
Marjilyn Murray (Republican)
Murray claims to be pro-law enforcement and against safe injection sites. Murray wants to focus on the health and safety of schools in Philadelphia, if elected.
Tarik Khan (Democrat)
Tarik Khan shows support for Medicaid and the Green New Deal in Pennsylvania. If elected, he would support a ban on fracking and believes abortion is a fundamental human right regardless of background.
Torren Danowski (Libertarian)
Danowski is an advocate for mental healthcare and does not support the United states being involved in foreign wars. The Triangle could not find a campaign website.
Chris Rabb (Democrat, incumbent)
Rabb is endorsed by Reclaim Philly, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania, many labor unions and Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. He is an advocate for abortion rights and has had 6 bills and amendments passed while in office which include cracking down on police misconduct.
Kionna West (Republican)
Kionna West opposes access to abortion and supports funding for small businesses. She is also focused on neighborhood restoration.