Update: Election Code Amendment Prohibits Officials From Running for Same Seat Mid-Term

I previously reported that Governor Rendell’s threatened veto of a bill requiring voters to show identification also would serve as a veto of a number of additional amendments to the Election Code. Since that time, Governor Rendell in fact did veto the bill, but the legislature sent back a similar version – this time without the voter id requirements. The new bill, now known as Act 45 of 2005, impacts the eligibility requirements for individuals who wish to run for public office. In particular, the law now requires a candidate to certify that “he is not a candidate for an office which he already holds, the term of which is not set to expire in the same year as the office [for which he is running].” So what does all of that mean? Simply put, a current official may run for re-election, but may not run for an open seat on the board on which he sits, if his own seat is not also up for re-election. An official, therefore, cannot extend his or her term by running in a “mid-term” race. Rarely has this been attempted, so it should not prove to be a very commonly raised issue. The new requirement in Act 45 has raised a number of questions, however, so I wanted to make sure there was no confusion regarding just what was required.

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