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Camp Hill School Board Ballot Positions and Cross Filing for Local Elections Primary 2023

From the Advocacy Committee

March 23, 2023

The ballot positions for each of the Democratic and Republican Primary ballots for the Primary Election on May 16, 2023 have been finalized.

The candidates for the five open School Board Director seats on the Democratic ballot will be listed in the following order:

1. Jesse John West (Republican)

2. Geoff McInroy (Republican, incumbent)

3. Randall Gale (Republican, incumbent)

4. Melissa Howard (Democrat)

5. Neil Connelly (Democrat, incumbent)

6. Meredith D. Bowen (Democrat)

7. Stephanie Johnson (Republican)

Why are Republicans listed on the Democratic Primary Ballot?

Pennsylvania is a “closed primary” state. This means that you may only vote in the primary election of the party in which are you registered. If you are a registered Democrat, that means you may only vote for the candidates on the Democratic ballot on Primary Day. Similarly, if you are a registered Republican, you are given a Republican-only ballot and cannot vote for candidates on the Democratic primary ballot. Voters who are not registered with either of the two major parties, or who are registered with the Independent or Green parties, are not entitled to vote in the state’s primary election at all, with the notable exceptions of local ballot questions or state constitutional amendments.

Over time, the parties have agreed to a workaround for this issue for local and judicial elections. Registered Democratic candidates can “cross file” as Republicans, as long as they obtain the requisite number of signatures from Republican registered residents in advance of the primary election filing deadline (which has now passed). The same is true for Republican candidates who wish to appear on the Democratic primary ballot.

The Camp Hill Democrats do not as a general rule oppose the practice of cross filing.

The Camp Hill Democrats do, however, oppose the candidacies of Stephanie Johnson and Jesse John West.

Besides the School Board seats, what other offices will be on the Primary Ballot?

In addition to the five open School Directors seats, on the ballot this election cycle are also judicial candidates and retention votes for Supreme, Superior, Commonwealth, and the county-based Courts of Common Pleas judges, and county, local, and municipal offices. In Camp Hill, in

addition to the judicial candidates, the magisterial district judges, and other local elected offices, voters will decide on their party’s nominations for Cumberland County Commissioners (three seats) and Borough Council (three open seats).

What about the General Election?

The General Election will take place on Tuesday, November 7, 2023. That election is not closed; any voter may vote for any candidate, regardless of party registration.

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