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We don’t endorse political candidates here (Chester News & Reporter and The Lancaster News), but we do endorse the idea of voters having choices.
As you probably know by now, the State Supreme Court issued a ruling in May that removed candidates for office from across the state from the ballot. At issue was a new law dictating that candidates file a statement of economic interest online with the State Ethics Commission. Candidates and party bosses statewide thought that law counteracted a former law which called for candidates to file those statements at the same time they filed their statement of candidacy and with the same official (usually a county party chair).
Incumbents do typically win elections at about an 80 percent clip anyway, but voters who may have wanted change had no way to make it happen.
The deposed candidates, unable to participate in primaries, had only one recourse...to seek a petition candidacy. That is not an easy road to navigate. Some people simply don’t like signing things, some will be supporters of incumbents and some aren’t registered to vote. Those getting petitions signed can sometimes go to a big festival or event and collect some signatures in bunches, but most have to be gotten one-at-a-time going from door-to-door.
Four people who were stricken from the primary ballot in Chester and one from Lancaster (Joseph Coy) have now collected the necessary petition signatures to appear on the general election ballot in November. A path to victory is still tougher than normal, though, since they will not get any straight party votes, but they are on the ballot.
We think this process should be satisfactory in all quarters. There are people who think the candidates deserved to be off the ballot originally because they didn’t follow the rules, even if they weren’t properly apprised of the rules to start with. Fair enough, but the law allows for petition candidacies and five people in Chester and Lancaster counties met the legal standard required of them. People who do want to see a change in leadership should be happy because they will have options at the ballot box.
Even some people who support incumbents have told us they are happy, because they didn’t like court’s decision.
We’re glad because now, voters have some choices to make. In election years, we think they should.
Chester News & Reporter on political candidates. The N&R is a sister paper to The Lancaster News. Both papers are owned by Landmark Community Newspapers Inc.