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Beware of Cross Filed Candidates -- They could be Wolves in Sheep's Clothing!

When you walk into your polling place on Tuesday, Nov. 7th, be aware that your favored candidate could lose if you also vote for candidates who are cross-filed as both Democrats and Republicans. If offered the option of voting for more than one candidate, be sure that your second or third choices are actually people you would choose, even if they were listed as candidates from an opposing Party...because in these parts, they probably are! If faced with the choice of casting multiple votes for an office that includes cross-filed candidates, you may be better off only voting for your favored single-affiliated candidate! This is sometimes call "Bullet Voting."

As an example, you can see in the graphic above, that there are four candidates for Common Pleas Judge in Dauphin County on Nov. 7th. Although there will be three listed in both the Republican and the Democratic columns on a Dauphin County ballot, only one, Lori Serratelli, is a Democrat. In the Republican column, there will in reality be three Republicans listed! Be clear that in such a case, you do not have to vote for more than one candidate, and in fact, doing so reduces the chances of the single Democratic candidate being elected, even if all voting Democrats selected her as one of their choices.

Only vote for a cross-filed candidate if you know and support their record and you are willing to risk the loss of your preferred singly-filed candidate. The issue of cross-filing is most likely to be seen in local races, and is not uncommon among school board, town council, and similar multi-person elected bodies. So, in these cases, allow your judgment and knowledge of the candidates to be your guide. A legal, though somewhat ethically questionable practice (perhaps a bit like Gerrymandering), cross-filing is another good reason to do your research well before you walk into your polling place...and to rely on your notes, not just your memory in the voting booth!

Resources for Tuesday's Election:

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