Reader Poll: Should PA Move to Off-Year Elections Like NJ?

PA NJ old mapIt’s 2013, which means that it’s an uneventful election cycle for the citizens of Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, across the Delaware River, New Jerseyans have the opportunity to vote for a governor and state legislators (and, due to the death of Frank Lautenberg, a U.S. Senator).

The practice is decades old. In 1947, New Jersey Governor Alfred Driscoll testified that it was beneficial for his state to hold elections during an odd-numbered year.

“[T]he election for a Governor and for Assemblymen should not coincide with a Presidential election. The importance of a gubernatorial election merits an election that will not be overshadowed by a national contest for the Presidency. The problems confronting the State are frequently distinct from those confronting the nation.”

On the other hand, a gubernatorial vote removed from elections nationwide risks lowering turnout on Election Day, which threatens the legitimacy of the victor.

Where do you stand on this issue? Should Pennsylvania move its state elections to the off years?

Poll: Should PA be like NJ and hold Guv & state legislative elections on off years?


  • No. (65%)
  • Yes. (35%)

Total Voters: 329

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6 thoughts on “Reader Poll: Should PA Move to Off-Year Elections Like NJ?

  1. No — I’m from California (Sacramento, not Pennsylvania), but this is obviously a Republican plot to create more low turnout off off year elections, the only kind the Rs can win. Why not move the Gov to the Pres year (when some of the row offices are up) as in Washington State and NC (and 9 others, I think).?

  2. No — this is simply a Republican scheme to create more low turnout elections — the only kind the Reeps can win. How about moving the Gov election to the Presidential year liker in NC, WA State, 9 others?

    I’m from California (Sacramento, not Pennsylvania)_

  3. No. Better to change the primary to August or September in non-Presidential years, Ordinary working stiffs wouldn’t need to take a whole year, or most of it, to campaign, meaning non-retirees and non-legacy leeches could be on ballots. Besides, all those yard signs for the primary winners could simply stay up!

  4. Maybe it would get more people interested in school board, municipal, and county elections.

    A better solution might be to elect governors on odd years and keep the legislature on even years. Kentucky uses that system.

  5. Yes if it means that the Democrat elected Governor in 2014 can serve a five-year first term, because it may take that long to dig out from this mess.

    (No, it’s a lousy idea.)

    You know what idea I would borrow from NJ, though? Gubernatorial nominee selects the LG nominee within 30 days of the primary results being certified, and LG serves as head of a cabinet-level department or administrative agency within the Governor’s administration.

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