Retirement age of judges to be ballot question

Election day is cresting the horizon and voters must consider what will be on the ballot before stepping into the voting booth.

In addition to presidential candidates, state-level officials and local legislators, the ballot will include a proposed amendment to the state constitution.

The question will be: “Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to require that justices of the Supreme Court, judges and magisterial district judges be retired on the last day of the calendar year in which they attain the age of 75 years?”

The current retirement age for those officials is 70 years.

The ballot question has been plagued with court cases since it was initially put on the ballot for the April primary, according to Forrest Lehman, director of Lycoming County Voter Services.

The state Legislature ordered the question be pulled from the primary ballot and that it be shortened to exclude what the current retirement age for officials is, Lehman said. Since the order for the question to be pulled came too late in many counties, the results were not counted.

The adjusted language, that was approved by both the Legislature and the secretary of the commonwealth, was upheld in commonwealth court, according to Lehman. It was then appealed and is now at the state Supreme Court, which has subsequently deadlocked, he added.

Also on the ballot are local legislators state Sen. Gene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, who is running unopposed; state Rep Jeff Wheeland, R-Loyalsock Township, unopposed for another term in the 83rd Legislative District; and state Rep. Garth Everett, R-Muncy, who faces a write-in challenge in the 84th Legislative District from businessman Chris Hughes.

In the 10th Congressional District, incumbent Tom Marino, R-Cogan Station, faces a challenge from former Lewisburg Mayor Mike Molesevich, Democrat. For the U.S. Senate, incumbent Pat Toomey, R-Zionville, is running against Democrat Katie McGinty, former state and federal environmental policy official, and Edward T. Clifford III, of the Libertarian Party.

At the state level, the candidates for auditor general are Eugene A. DePasquale, John Brown, John J. Sweeney, and Roy A. Minet; the candidates for state treasurer are Joe Torsella, Otto Voit, Kristin Combs and James Babb; and the candidates for attorney general are Josh Shapiro and John Rafferty.