Tuesday was primary (party) election day in Pennsylvania.

My first vote since coming back to America. (I had voted in Pennsylvania in the days I went to Penn and Temple, so it wasn’t my first Pennsylvania ballot.)

You want to talk about voter non-participation? Turnout in Lancaster County was something like 10% (one in ten voters).

The municipality I am living in is about 3,300 people. There were three borough council seats on the Republican ticket, but only two nominees. There was a space for write-ins. I looked up the Democrats–they had no one running. (Yes, I am registered Republican and that’s a long story, but it has a bit to do, as I mentioned, with no Democrats running.)

People in Pennsylvania vote for the strangest things. Like coronor. “Prothonotary”, which is a court clerk. A few other positions that should be pure appointments by the executive.

We have a Sheriff, just like New Jersey. That should be Jail Administrator, another term-appointed position.

We elect judges! I stood there at the booth, trying to figure out what I possibly could know about who they were. You only find out how sh*tty Pennsylvania judges generally are if you do any litigation. So there I am, with a choice of two, and they both feel like hacks to me even though I don’t know a damn thing about either one! I think I ended up voting for the women.

We have a school board election the same day. There were five candidates running as a slate. The ballot showed six candidates. So my mission was to see if I could remember who the five were that were running as a team. I think the outlier was #2 on the ballot, and probably got a lot of votes from people who just ticked down the first five candidates.

The number of actual voters at my station, which is the fire house, when I was there was vastly outnumbered by the election workers and party challengers. I think there were eight people in the polling station. There was me, and some other guy who voted ahead of me. It was surreal, because it seemed all set up for some big thing to happen, but nothing was going to happen.

I guess the voters provided the excitement.

Pennsylvania’s big election year was 2010, when the governorship was on the ticket. Next year will be big too. A primary election in an “off year” is not the kind of thing that gets people heading down to the polling station. If there weren’t so many lawnsigns that popped up over the weekend, I think I would have missed it, too.

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