Pennsylvania judicial elections

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Judges in Pennsylvania are elected either in retention elections or partisan elections. This is the only state in the nation that holds its judicial elections solely in odd-numbered years.


Supreme Court Superior Court Commonwealth Court Court of Common Pleas Magisterial District Courts Municipal and Traffic Courts
Partisan elections or Retention election - 10 year terms Partisan elections or Retention election - 10 year terms Partisan elections or Retention election - 10 year terms Partisan elections or Retention election - 10 year terms Partisan elections - 6 year terms Partisan elections or Retention election - 6 year terms

Primary election

Though the state holds partisan elections, most candidates cross-file with the major political parties. If a candidate wins both the Republican and Democratic primary, she or he runs unopposed in the general election.

Retention

After a judge has won an initial partisan election, subsequent terms are attained through retention elections. In retention elections, judges do not compete against another candidate, but voters are given a "yes" or "no" choice whether to keep the justice in office for another term. If the candidate receives more yes votes than no votes, he or she is successfully retained. If not, the candidate is not retained, and there will be a vacancy in that court upon the expiration of that term. This applies to all judges except magisterial district judges, who are always elected in partisan elections.[1]

Results

Statewide results are posted on the Pennsylvania Election Returns website. County results are posted on the county election websites.

History

Pennsylvania has a long history of different judicial election methods. Initially, in 1776, judges in Pennsylvania were elected by the voters. In 1790, all judges were appointed by the governor for life long terms. Beginning in 1838, appointments needed confirmation by the senate, and terms were reduced. The state started using partisan elections again in 1850. From 1913 to 1921, appellate judges were elected in non-partisan elections. Finally in 1968, the current methods were adopted, where judges are elected in partisan elections, and re-elected in retention elections.[2]

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Elections

See also

External links

References

PennsylvaniaSupreme Court of PennsylvaniaPennsylvania Superior CourtPennsylvania Commonwealth CourtPennsylvania Court of Common PleasPennsylvania Magisterial DistrictsPhiladelphia Municipal CourtPhiladelphia Traffic CourtPittsburgh Municipal CourtUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of PennsylvaniaUnited States District Court for the Middle District of PennsylvaniaUnited States District Court for the Western District of PennsylvaniaUnited States bankruptcy court, Eastern District of PennsylvaniaUnited States bankruptcy court, Middle District of PennsylvaniaUnited States bankruptcy court, Western District of PennsylvaniaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Third CircuitPennsylvania countiesPennsylvania judicial newsPennsylvania judicial electionsJudicial selection in PennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaTemplate.jpg