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Trib editorial: What's at stake this Election Day

| Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, 9:51 a.m.

It's called an “off-year” election, but there's nothing “off” about it. On Tuesday, voters will elect their representatives to the branches of government closest to them. And they will decide who will serve on local courts, as well as the state's three appellate courts.

With this much as stake, there is no reason to sit out this election.

At the top of the ticket for the state's 8.4 million voters is the race for state Supreme Court between appointed Justice Sallie Mundy, a Republican, and Allegheny County Judge Dwayne Woodruff, a Democrat and former Pittsburgh Steeler. The winner will fill the opening created after Justice J. Michael Eakin of Cumberland County resigned amid a pornographic email scandal that badly stained the state's judicial system.

Elsewhere, voters will fill four open seats on the state's Superior Court, which handles civil, criminal and family court appeals, and two openings on Commonwealth Court, which oversees state government-related matters, such as local zoning appeals, right-to-know decisions and eminent domain.

And at the judicial level closest to residents, there are two candidates vying for an opening on Westmoreland County's Court of Common Pleas and three candidates vying for two seats on the Allegheny County bench.

Then there are the various races for local municipal leaders and school boards — those public representatives who decide just how much people pay in local taxes — along with a state constitutional amendment on property taxes.

Ultimately the government we get is the one we elect.

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