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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, June 26, 2009

Can We Vote Twice For the Same Candidate in Judicial Race?

In this Fall's Northampton County judicial race, Judge Lenny Zito and Magistrate Michael Koury will be listed on both the Republican and Democratic sides of the ballot. Craig Dally is running as a Republican and Barb Hollenbach as a Democrat. Four people are running for three judgeships. We get three votes.

Since we do get three votes, can we vote for the same person twice? In other words, can I decide to cast one vote for Zito as a Republican and another as a Democrat? Or can I vote for Koury twice in the same way?

Many lawyers and politicos insist it's legally permissible. Others claim it's impossible.

What do you think? I'll let you know next week.

31 comments:

Rising Sun said...

I believe it's a computer voting machine, so I'm sure it'll be programmed to take away the double vote option. This is Northampton County though, who knows.

Bernie O'Hare said...

But can the double vote option be eliminated? People often cast a "bullet" vote for one candidate in council races, which is the same thing as voting for someone five times. Why can't a person who has three votes cast two of them for the same person?

Rising Sun said...

I thought the machine lit up both spots on the ballot if you pressed one, but if not, you'd be right.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Rich, Some lawyers insist it can't be done. Others just as adamantly claim you must be given the right to vote for the same person twice.

Rising Sun said...

This may seem silly, but it could decide the judge race.

Anonymous said...

If this is possible, it's an unfair advantage. All four should be put on both dockets whether they like it or not. Can that be done?

Anonymous said...

You could not vote for the same candidate twice in the Lehigh County Judicial Race two years ago. Dantos and Varrichio both had two nominations but were only listed on the ballot once.

Anonymous said...

Here is the link to the Lehigh County Results that year.
http://www.lehighcounty.org/Departments/VoterRegistration/ElectionResults/tabid/445/language/en-US/Default.aspx

Anonymous said...

In the belief that one should vote early and often, I think it's a great idea.

Anonymous said...

What about a write-in vote on the second and third spots for the candidate you already voted for?

Anonymous said...

This isn't the primary - you won't see two separate ballots. You will see the four names on one ballot for three seats. Zito or Zoury could lose.

Rising Sun said...

Anon 9:38,

You are incorrect. Candidates are listed under the lines they qualified for in the primary, by the party that nominated them, or in this case, parties.

boss tweed said...

yes it can be done. simple math. more often than you think.

Anonymous said...

CANDIDATES WILL BE LISTED WITH THE PARTY THAT ENDORSED THEM. IN THE GENERAL YOU CAN VOTE FOR EITHER PARTY. YOU WILL BE ABLE TO CAST TWO VOTES FOR ZITO OR KOURY. EVEN ON THE NEW COMPUTER SCREEN VOTING MACHINE.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to vote twice against any state legislative leech who votes with Rendell to raise my income taxes by 16% in the worst economy since January when the national budget deficit was a tenth of what it is now.

Anonymous said...

Allegheny County did not allow candidates who won nominations to be listed twice. They listed each candidate once, so that they could only be voted for once.
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07284/824362-54.stm

Rising Sun said...

Anon 1:21,

You mean back when the government wasn't counting the war, social security, or medicare in their budget estimates, something to the tune of 75% of it? Sure, you go back to that, the rest of us are in reality now.

Anonymous said...

They wouldn't sound so much like lame excuses if the factor of increase wasn't ten.

Ten.

I'd be trying to deflect with blame as well with a miserable short-term record like that.

Rising Sun said...

First off, no real budget organization has used the factor of 10, only conservative wackos. The CBO, White House Budget Office, and all reputable groups say that at most, the deficit has gone from a listed $455 billion to $1.8 trillion. However, all groups, even conservative think tanks, acknowledge that the $455 last year did not include any of the debt from the wars, social security, and medicare, or roughly a solid half billion to billion, depending on which estimate you buy. So at worst, the deficit has risen by the cost of the stimulus, at best by about $150 billion, which would be the smallest increase since William Jefferson Clinton left office. Your rhetoric is tired, give it up anon.

Rising Sun said...
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Rising Sun said...
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Rising Sun said...

Correction on my end: the costs of the non-counted items in the old deficit projections is between a half-TRILLION and TRILLION, not a half billion and billion.

Anonymous said...

I salute anyone with the balls to defend the mess he's made. He inherited a disaster and used the crisis to forward an agenda that has absolutely nothing to do with fixing the economy. He said we needed stimulus to avoid 8% unemployment that he now says is heading to 10%, despite his idiotic efforts. Things are getting much worse because of the damage he's inflicted. His own budget office acknowledges no end in sight for increasing budget deficits through 2019. He's a community organizer who hasn't a clue about economics, except that which is recommended by his tax cheat Sec Treas.

Now go ahead and blame Bush for as long as you can. He was an idiot, for sure. But he looks better and better every day by comparison to the continuing disaster Obama has carelessly engineered.

Rising Sun said...

Bush looks better? I'm glad America disagrees. Actually the Obama Budget Office projects deficits cut in half in 2012, and only marginally rising in the "out years." It looks eerily similar to the early budget projections of one President Clinton, which ended up being wrong- because the deficit fell to zero.

As I said before, literally 2/3 of the deficit was pre-existing. That's not blaming anyone, that's stating the obvious. Unless you want to say the war, social security, and medicare aren't contributors to the total debt per year.

Anonymous said...

This problem could be eliminated if you removed the two candidates that won both the Republican and Democratic Nominations and declare them winners. Only vote for the one open seat.

Donald said...

I think the old machines blocked double voting. I am not sure about these but I suspect they will too. I don't see away for Zito & Koury to lose. Dally always does well with Dems so I think he will be the third.

Maybe if Hollenbach changes her slogan and drops Boscola off he signs and ads she may be able to add a few GOP votes otherwise she is doomed. I know that being endorsed by Boscola was reason enough for me not to vote for Hollenbach, and I am very loyal Democrat

lighthouse said...

Its been long established to allow, so there must some mechanism to prevent (whether on the old or new machines). Otherwise, it could be more than theoretically possible for a candidate to have over 100% of the vote.

Have you called the Voter Reg office for the definitive answer? Post once you know.

lighthouse said...

I see that I wrote too fast, and left out a few key words...

Its been long established to allow judges and school directors to appear under both party labels (being supposedly "non-partisan"), so there must some mechanism to prevent double voting (whether on the old or new machines). Otherwise, it could be more than theoretically possible for a candidate to have over 100% of the vote.

again, post the confirmed answer to your question once you get it. thanks.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" it could be more than theoretically possible for a candidate to have over 100% of the vote."

You're right. One candidate could have 200%.

Consider this scenario. You have a city council race in which someone can vote for 4 candidates. Let's say someone really likes mike D'Amore or Lou Hershman. He could pull the lever for that candidate and then cast three write-in votes for him, too. That's the same as the bullet vote.

Geoffrey M. Roche said...

Very good question but more importantly, I just want to share that I was a strong supporter of Candy Barr Heimbach for Judge in the primary election.

I will now be proudly casting my vote for Craig Dally as he is the only candidate who shares Candy's experience in the community as well as the important and essential quality of integrity. Please join me in voting for Rep. Dally in November.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Geoffrey, We certainly had no shortage of good candidates in the primary. Candy Barr Heimbach was an excellent candidate. Like you, I will support Craig Dally.