Voter’s guide to Union County

Bucknell Institute for Public Policy interns

It’s Nov. 8 and the prospect of voting looks daunting. The Bucknellian and the Bucknell Institute for Public Policy have compiled a guide to the most contested and influencial races down the ballot as a Union County voter, and what to do on Election Day.

VOTER ID

If this is your first time voting in a precinct you must bring one of the following forms of photo identification:

Pennsylvania driver’s license or PennDOT ID Card • ID issued by any Commonwealth agency • ID issued by the U.S. government • U.S. Passport • U.S. Armed Forces ID • Student ID with photograph • Employee ID with photograph

POLLING PLACE

For those who live on campus, the University falls into three precincts within Union County. To locate out your polling place, go to www.headcount.org/find-your-polling-place/.

The polling places for the three precincts are:

• Lewisburg 3 (located at Larison Hall, 521 St. George Street)

• East Buffalo 3 (located at Donald H Eichhorn Middle School, 2057 Washington Avenue)

• East Buffalo 4 (located at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, 525 Weis Drive)

ON THE BALLOT

BALLOT QUESTION: Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to require that justices of the Supreme Court, judges, and magisterial district judges be retired on the last day of the calendar year in which they attain the age of 75 years?

NOTE: The current age of retirement is 70 years old. A “YES” on this amendment would raise the age of retirement for sitting judges. A “NO” would not change the age of retirement.

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

DONALD TRUMP

Economy: In favor of “business friendly policies” that lower taxes for corporations and cuts to public spending in order to reduce the national debt.

Immigration: Wants to suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a history of terrorism against the United States. He also does not believe that undocumented immigrants should have access to healthcare or public education.

Education: Does not support Common Core. Instead, he believes that education should be handled at the state and local levels.

Environment: Supports fracking in order to extract oil and natural gas and does not think that the government should provide subsidies to clean energy companies. Believes in expanding offshore drilling. Has said that climate change “is a hoax.”

HILLARY CLINTON

Economy: In favor of raising taxes for corporations and does not believe the United States should cut public spending in order to reduce the national debt. Is also in favor of raising the federal minimum wage.

Immigration: In favor of undocumented immigrants having access to government subsidized healthcare, and goes further to say that they should be granted a pathway to citizenship. Asserts that the US-Mexican border is “the most secure border we have ever had” and the focus should be on enforcing current policies.

Education: Supports increasing taxes for the wealthy in order to reduce the interest rates on student loans and supports the Common Core federal standard.

Environment: In favor of increasing environmental regulations to prevent climate change and that the federal government, and instead of expanding offshore drilling, the United States should provide incentives for alternative energy companies.

U.S. SENATOR

Pennsylvania’s status as a swing state is heavily impacted by its down ballot races, most notably the Senate race between incumbent Republican Pat Toomey and Democratic challenger Katie McGinty. McGinty was the former Chief of Staff to Pa. Governor Tom Wolf, and supports pro-choice legislation, tighter gun laws, and same-sex marriage. Toomey won his seat in 2010 and has supported tax cuts, a ban on same-sex marriage, and tighter gun laws. This election cycle, Toomey has attempted to distance himself from Trump as the Republican nominee, painting the picture that he is a bipartisan legislator. Regardless, the race is guaranteed to be close. In a recent poll, Gravis reported a 4 point lead for McGinty, who is polling at 45 percent to Toomey’s 41 percent.

STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL

The state attorney general is considered the chief law advisor and enforcement officer. The Pennsylvania Attorney General represents the state in all legal matters.

Democrat Josh Shapiro is a former state representative who earned a reputation for working across party lines. As state senator, Republican Rafferty’s focus was on improving the transportation system, reducing the tax burden, preserving the environment, lowering healthcare costs, and improving the care for senior citizens. Rafferty’s platform focuses on what he considers the five crucial issues facing Pennsylvania: improving integrity, taking the focus away from political party affiliations, fighting the heroin epidemic, creating a Child Predator Unit, and employing a school safety task force.

STATE AUDITOR GENERAL

The auditor general is the chief fiscal officer of Pennsylvania, whose responsibility is to order audits of state agencies, municipal governments, school districts, public sector pensions, any entities that receive state funding, and corporate tax returns. For Pennsylvania, that means the auditor general oversees 400 employees and a budget of $50 million.

Democrat Eugene DePasquale is the incumbent candidate; during his previous term he discovered more than $180 million in wasted or misspent state money. His main hopes if he wins are to find savings within the budget, to invest in infrastructure, to improve job creation, to protect the environment and invest in clean energy, and to fund education and senior services.

As auditor general, Republican John Brown hopes to “find and highlight waste, fraud and abuse in government spending.” The issues on which he wants to focus are: fighting to cut waste, fraud, and abuse in government spending, implementing government reform, drawing on his previous experience, and carefully watching the governor’s spending plan.

The Green Party candidate is John Sweeney, who owns a small business and is the auditor for Falls Township in Wycoming County. His main focus would be to combine the Department of Transportation and the Turnpike Commission and to reexamine the Department of Environmental Protection.

The Libertarian candidate is Roy Minet, a retired businessman. If elected, Minet would like to audit the General Assembly. He hopes to expand the responsibilities of the auditor general by investigating other cost-cutting measures.

STATE TREASURER

State treasurers are responsible for a state’s finances. This includes managing debt, investments, revenue, and pension funds collected by the state. Additionally, treasurers facilitate public investment programs and investigate improper use of public funds. Timothy Reese, the current treasurer and independent politician, will be stepping down from his position following this election.

Republican Otto Voit has served as President of Keystone Dental Group. He holds over 30 years of finance and accounting experience, and plans to launch a scholarship and grant program that would provide financial aid for college students attending schools in Pennsylvania.

Joe Torsella ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. From 2011-2014, Torsella served as a U.S. Representative to the United Nations for Management and Reform. As state treasurer, he plans to establish automatic college savings accounts for every child born in Pennsylvania. He strongly believes in transparency, and seeks to enrich access to government information.

REP. IN THE U.S. CONGRESS (10th DISTRICT)

Our campus falls within the confines of the Pennsylvania’s 10th district. Therefore, our congressional seat belongs to Republican Tom Marino, who has held it since 2010. During his time in Congress, Marino has served on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Homeland Security, and the Committee on the Judiciary. Marino opposes abortion, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Affordable Care Act, and any restrictions on the second amendment. He’s strongly in favor of military expansion, privatized social security, and capital punishment.

Marino’s seat is contested by Michael Molesevich, a Bucknell alum who served as the mayor of Lewisburg between 1994 and 1998. Molesevich has also held positions on the Lewisburg Borough Council. He currently owns and operates his own environmental consulting firm. Marino seeks to promote waste alternatives and clean energy, to prioritize Pennsylvania farmers, to implement a more efficient health system for veterans, and to advocate for equal education availability.

REP. IN THE PA GENERAL ASSEMBLY FOR THE 85th LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT

Notably, in Pennsylvania’s 85th district, four-time Republican incumbent Fred Keller is being challenged for his seat by Susquehanna University history professor David Heayn. Heayn is a write-in candidate who decided to start campaigning when he saw Keller was running unopposed. Heayn is running as a Democrat but freely admits his disdain for the current two-party system. He wants to reform the campaign finance system so as to keep outside interests out of politics.

Heayn strongly believes in investing in our education system on every level. He believes that by doing this, Pennsylvania will be able to establish a foundation for economic growth, and supports renewable energy, paid parental leave, and an equal pay amendment.

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