Breaking down the ballot for PA midterms

The 2022 midterm elections are happening this Nov. 8, and the deadline to register to vote is Oct. 24. If you are a Carnegie Mellon student, you can vote in this election as long as you are over 18, a U.S. citizen, and have resided in Pennsylvania for at least 30 days prior to the election.

If you live on campus, your mailing address places you in ward 14 and district 7 of Allegheny County. Election districts are very small, so if you live off campus, you are likely in a different district. You can find your election ward, district, and polling location using an online tool made by the Pennsylvania government. (Note: the text box for street names is extremely laggy. Type in the first letter of your street and wait 5-10 seconds.) For on-campus residents, your polling location will be in the Cohon University Center.

U.S. Senate Race:
The first race on the ballot is for our U.S. Senator. The winner will replace Republican Pat Toomey, who is stepping down after holding the position since 2011. There are 35 Senate seats up for grabs this midterm (21 Republican and 14 Democrat). The Democratic nominee is Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman. Key campaign positions include legalizing marijuana, protecting the "union way of life," codifying abortion rights, and ensuring universal healthcare coverage. The Republican nominee is Mehmet Oz, a heart surgeon and former host of "The Dr. Oz Show." Key campaign issues include reducing regulations on the fossil fuel industry, establishing voter ID laws, and fighting illegal immigration. He also claims to be "100% pro-life."

PA Governor's Race:
The second race on the ballot is for governor and lieutenant governor, who run together on a single ticket. The gubernatorial winner will replace Democrat Tom Wolf, who has reached his term limit, having held the position since 2015. The Democratic nominee for governor is current Attorney General Josh Shapiro; the nominee for lieutenant governor is Austin Davis, who represents the 35th district in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Key campaign issues include protecting abortion rights, protecting voting rights, banning discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals, and banning youth conversion therapy. The Republican nominee for governor is Doug Mastriano, who currently represents the 33rd district in Pennsylvania's State Senate; the nominee for lieutenant governor is Carrie DelRosso, who represents the 33rd district in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Their campaign issues include criminalizing abortion, banning the teaching of critical race theory in public schools (which is not taught in public schools), and strengthening penalties for violent crime.

To learn more, read our coverage of the governor's race from the Sept. 19 edition of The Tartan.

US House (PA-12):
The third race is for the U.S. House of Representatives. Carnegie Mellon (and much of Pittsburgh) is located in Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District, but prior to this year's redistricting was located in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District, represented by Democrat Michael Doyle. (Pennsylvania lost a seat in the U.S. House and now only has 17 representatives.) The Democratic nominee is Summer Lee, who currently represents the 34th district in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Key campaign issues include raising the minimum wage to $15/hour, universal pre-k and childcare, creating a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and Medicare-for-All. The Republican nominee is Michael Doyle, not to be confused with the aforementioned current House representative for Pennsylvania's 18th district, Michael Doyle. To clarify, there are two separate men named Michael Doyle. The Democrat Michael Doyle has represented Pittsburgh in Congress for 28 years and is retiring at the end of his current term. The Republican Michael Doyle is a businessman and Councilman in Plum Borough. Key campaign issues for Doyle include securing the border, "energy independence," and "election integrity."

State General Assembly Race:
The fourth race is for our representative in the State House of Representatives. Democrat Dan Frankel, who has represented Pennsylvania's 18th State House District since 1999, is running for re-election. There is no republican nominee for this position, which now represents the 12th district following the change in congressional maps. His only opponent is environmental activist Jay Ting Walker of the Green party.

Ballot Initiative:
Currently, County Council members are required to resign from their position before seeking another office. A proposed ballot initiative would remove this requirement, giving County Council members the ability to run for office while still holding their seat on the council. The 13-member County Council is the chief legislative body for Allegheny County, and council members are appointed positions (Carnegie Mellon is located in County District 11, represented by Paul Klein). It is important to note that this restriction does not apply to the Chief Executive of the Council nor any other county officials position. The county argues that this policy "serves no meaningful purpose," and that the "same provisions" should apply to the Chief Executive and Council members.

Note: In an earlier version of this article, it was incorrectly reported that Dan Frankel does not have a campaign website. His website can be found at