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Guest Opinion

Are you ready for April 23?


Tuesday, April 23 is Pennsylvania’s primary election. In this election, citizens registered as either Republicans or Democrats will choose which of the candidates put forth by the two political parties will represent their parties in the upcoming November 2024 general election.

These politically affiliated voters will vote for five positions: President of the U.S., U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Attorney General, Auditor General and Treasurer.

Since the Pa. primary occurs so late in the election season, the candidates for President — Joe Biden (Democrat) and Donald Trump (Republican) — have already been determined by other states and will run uncontested in the primary.

They will be the only presidential candidates on the ballots; the only choice voters have, if they are unhappy with the party’s candidate, is to write in an alternative name or write in “uncommitted.”

In the race for United States Senator, the Republican ballot will list three candidates, none of whom are incumbents; the Democratic ballot will list Bob Casey, the uncontested incumbent. Election of a U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania will affect the close partisan balance in the contentious U.S. Senate.

Voters will select candidates for the following three vitally important Pennsylvania state positions:

1. Attorney General: the top prosecutor/chief law-enforcement officer of the commonwealth. The AG represents the interests of the public and the state, and defends PA’s laws, including election results. Democrats will select one of five candidates; Republicans, one of two candidates.

2. Auditor General: the top fiscal watchdog, responsible for ensuring that state money is spent legally and properly. Democrats will select one of two candidates; the incumbent Republican candidate is uncontested.

3. Treasurer: the top financial officer, responsible for the receipt and deposit of state monies and for serving as Pa.’s banker. Democrats will select one of two candidates; the incumbent Republican candidate is uncontested.

Thus, registered Republicans will make two decisions (U.S. Senator and Attorney General); registered Democrats will make three decisions (Attorney General, Auditor General and PA Treasurer). The remaining positions are uncontested.

Since Pennsylvania has a closed primary, to vote, you must be registered as either a Democrat or a Republican. Registered Democrats will choose the Democratic nominees for the November general election; registered Republicans will choose the Republican nominees.

To update or change your registration or if you are not registered to vote at all, go to The deadline to register or to change your registration is April 8.

In Pa., you can vote in person or by mail. The deadline to apply for a mail-in (or a civilian absentee) ballot is April 16. Go to or apply in person at the Bucks County Board of Elections office.

If you are a member of one of the two parties, it is incumbent upon you to help your party choose its candidates by voting in the primary.

If you are not partisan but want a say in the choices for the November general election, register for one of the two political parties and vote for the party candidates you believe will best serve our state…and you.

There are many sources to help you learn more about the candidates, including (1) the LWV’s nonpartisan online election resource (, (2) the Voter’s Guide, published by the Bucks County Herald on April 11, (3) Spotlight Pa.’s nonpartisan, independent online election guide (, (4), and (5) your party’s political website (;

Consider endorsements of candidates. Look at the records of incumbents (

Get ready. Vote. Elections have consequences.

Cathy Morano is a member of the League of Women Voters of Bucks County, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to providing voter education and services and advocating for issues. It envisions a democracy where every person has the desire, the right, the knowledge and the confidence to participate.

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