5 things you may not know about today’s election


Did you know there’s an election in Philly—and in municipalities throughout the United States—today? There is. The numbers say a lot of the city is not necessarily paying attention this year, so we’ve come up with a list of basic things you may not know about today’s election. Starting with…

There is an election today

Hate to begin with the obvious, but today’s election is not one for the ages. It’s an off-year, and statistics show people don’t vote as much, or care as much, during off-years. That said, elections are always important—depending on how you look at it—so here’s the ballot.

Still, you’re probably not going to vote

I’d like to say otherwise—I really would. But based on projections leading up to today, things are not looking good. Experts have projected 10-11 percent of the city giving enough of a shit to practice the right their forefathers fought and died for. The last off-season election, in 2009, brought out 12 percent of voters, though, as noted in this Philly.com article, there was an open seat for district attorney, and that’s fun. In the primary election for today’s general election, only nine percent came out.

Which means just a few people are going to vote on borrowing a LOT of money

A ballot question will ask voters today whether they’re interested in the city borrowing $94,745,000 for transit, streets and sanitation, municipal buildings, parks, recreation, museums, and community development. You know, lots’a cash for basic maintenance. We are a city after all.

In an op/ed written by Republican ward leader Matt Wolfe, he urges a vote against the question. Among those reasons: “Economic and community development” appearing in the capital budget (he argues this is not something that should be in there) and “the authority that City Council has given itself to transfer money after the bond issue is approved between the categories.”

He concludes: “A better question to be put before the voters would be an amendment to the City Charter that would require City Council to state the specific projects and the cost of those projects that make up a bond issue.”

There are some independent candidates on the ballot

Depending on where you are in the city, it’s possible you could see a Green Party candidate on your ballot. Eric Hamell, of the Green Party, is running for the Inspector of elections, Ward 59, Division 21. You’ll be voting for him or someone else if you live in the Germantown area, between Wayne Avenue and Walnut Lane.

There’s also a libertarian running for judge in the Court of Common Pleas. His name is Stephen Miller Miller, he’s a standup comedian, a member of Philadelphia media troupe The Panic Hour, and he’s spoken at the Smokedown Prohibition pro-marijuana protests at Independence Mall over the past year. This is him:

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He was rated as “not recommended” for election by the Philadelphia Bar Association.

If you vote, you don’t need ID

Voter ID ads have been streaming across the commonwealth this election season, but this election, like last election, ID will not required to vote. Your poll worker may ask you for identification, but you don’t have to show it. Many of us are likely confused about the law. That’s on purpose.

As of now, it’s being blocked by a court and awaiting judgment. No matter how that works out, it’s going to be challenged again and, hell, maybe again.

But don’t worry about that when you vote, if you vote, which you won’t.

Follow Randy on Twitter: @RandyLoBasso

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