PA Primary Primer: What You Need to Know

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Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

The Pennsylvania Primary Elections occur today, April 26, between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. For detailed information on voting places, registration, and other Swarthmore-specific election issues, students should consult Registrar Martin Warner’s website.

Based on their dorm locations, students who registered to vote from Swarthmore College are assigned to vote either at Swarthmore-Rutledge Elementary School at 100 College Avenue (Dana, Danawell, Hallowell, Lodges, Mertz, Alice Paul, David Kemp, Parrish, Wharton, Willets, Whittier, Woolman, Worth), the CADES building at 401 Rutgers Avenue (Mary Lyons, Palmer, Pittenger, Roberts, Strath Haven), or Borough Hall on Park Avenue. People can check their polling places and registration statuses online.

The Swarthmore College Democrats and Conservative Society are co-sponsoring a “Vote Boat” to drive students to the polls. It will run from Parrish Circle between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., and between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. There will also be a path drawn from Parrish Circle to Swarthmore-Rutledge School.

First-time voters should bring a form of identification. Pennsylvania recognizes the Swarthmore College ID as a valid form of voter identification; however, the poll workers will not recognize out-of-state drivers licenses. The approved list is available online.

Additionally, newly-registered voters should have received a card confirming their registration through the mail. Students who have not received this mailer, but who did send in new or change-of-address registrations, should call the Delaware County Voter Registration Office at (610) 891-4659 immediately to check the status of their application.

If students are not found on the list of registered voters at the polls, but are sure that they did, in fact, register, they should fill out a Provisional Ballot. After submitting the ballot, county officials will research the case and look for the registration. The ballot will only be counted if the county verifies the individual’s registration.

In the case of voter intimidation or repression, which has occurred with college students in the past, students are advised to either ignore or report the involved individuals to the nonpartisan Election Judge. So long as every qualification is met, all students have the right to vote if they are in line by 8:00 p.m., when the polls officially close. Furthermore, voters can contact the Election Protection coalition at 1-866-OUR-VOTE with any difficulties.

Following are brief descriptions of the candidates running in the primary races:

Democratic Ballot


  • Hillary Clinton (NY) – Former Secretay of State, Senator (NY), and First Lady
  • Rocky De La Fuente (CA) – Businessman
  • Bernie Sanders (VT) – Senator, former Representative (VT-AL) and mayor of Burlington, VT


  • John Fetterman – Mayor of Braddock, PA
  • Katie McGinty – Businesswoman, Secretary of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Chief of Staff to Gov. Wolf
  • Joe Sestak – Former three-star Navy admiral, former Representative (PA-7)
  • Joseph Vodvarka – Small business owner

Attorney General:

  • John Morganelli – District Attorney, Northampton County
  • Josh Shapiro – Montgomery County Commissioner
  • Stephen Zappala Jr. – District Attorney, Allegheny County

Auditor General:

  • Eugene DePasquale – Auditor General (incumbent)

State Treasurer:

  • Joe Torsella – Former Chairman of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, Former United States Representative to the United Nations for Management and Reform

First Congressional District:

  • Bob Brady – Representative (incumbent)

161st Legislative District:

  • Leanne Krueger-Braneky – State Representative (incumbent)

Republican Ballot


  • Jeb Bush (FL) – former Governor, withdrawn
  • Ben Carson (MD) – retired neurosurgeon, withdrawn
  • Ted Cruz (TX) – Senator, former Solicitor General (TX)
  • John Kasich (OH) – Governor, former Representative (OH-12)
  • Marco Rubio (FL) – Senator, former State House Speaker (FL), withdrawn
  • Donald Trump (NY) – businessman and real estate developer

Presidential Delegates (Select Three):

  • Christopher Volger – Uncommitted, leaning towards voting for whoever wins the district
  • Seth Kaufer – Uncommitted
  • Dave Hackett – Uncommitted, plans to vote for whoever wins the district

Alternate Presidential Delegates (Select Three):

  • Carolina Baltazar Harris
  • Megan Rath
  • Fred Anton


  • Pat Toomey – Senator (incumbent)

Attorney General:

  • Joe Peters – Communications Director for incumbent Kathleen Kane (D), former Deputy Attorney General, former police officer
  • John Rafferty – State Senator, former Deputy Attorney General

Auditor General:

  • John Brown – Northampton County Executive


  • Otto Voit – Businessman

First Congressional District:

  • Deborah Williams – former Republican leader of Northwest Philadelphia’s 17th ward, ordained minister

161st Legislative District:

  • Patti Rodgers Morrisette – Realtor

Jacob Demree

Jacob is a freshman from Mount Laurel, NJ, who has loved reading ever since reading Bob Books and writing ever since scribbling notes to his parents and siblings. Trying to see if a quadruple major is possible, he spends his time searching for endnotes, reducing margin sizes, and, of course, reading The Daily Gazette. When he’s not doing any of these things, he enjoys reading non-required materials (and not annotating them), playing guitar, gangsa, piano, or melodica, helping out social justice efforts on campus, and hanging out with friends and family at museums and Sharples. He plans to start planning his program of study before the end of his sophomore year.

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