Contributed by Bonnie Chang.
Bucks Voices Call to Action: Three Ballot Drop Boxes for Bucks is Not Enough!
Last November, 42% of voters used vote-by-mail and already, mail-in ballot requests for the upcoming primary suggest that the percentage will be even higher. Estimates indicate that our postal service will need to handle 90,000 pieces of additional mail between late April and May 18. Given concerns about the reliability and timeliness of the mail, many voters will choose to put their ballots in a drop box to meet the deadline.
Bucks County had only three drop box locations last fall, worse than the widely-criticized, newly-enacted Georgia voter suppression bill that mandates one dropbox per 100,000 voters. It also pales in comparison with the four neighboring counties, many of which have 24/7 access. In Bucks, many voters had to drive a significant distance to get to one, and those going to Doylestown spent more time looking for parking.
With all of the voter suppression efforts in Pennsylvania and around the country, it’s more important than ever to make it easy for everyone to vote. Bucks Voices has launched a petition-signing drive to urge County Commissioners to increase the number of drop boxes. So far, they’ve agreed to add one location for the primary in Lower Makefield library. A lot more drop boxes are needed to support increased voter access going forward.
Join the cause: Dancing Drop Boxes to Deliver the Petitions – Bucks Voices are looking for volunteers to help construct large cardboard drop boxes and accompany the crew with a musical troupe to deliver the petitions to the county commissioners. The petition delivery date is tentatively set for June 2. If you are interested in helping in any capacity, please email BucksVoicesPA@gmail.com.
CALL TO ACTION: Please sign the petition to demand a lot more drop boxes, and contact all three County Commissioners by phone or email to demand more drop boxes.
May Primary: Know Before You Vote
- Contested Primaries – why it’s important to vote local in the primary
For traditionally non-partisan roles, such as judge and school director, candidates can cross-file so their names appear under both parties on the primary ballot. In such primaries, it’s important to know which candidates are endorsed by which party so that you know you are voting for someone who aligns with your values. To find out who are the recommended school board candidates click here: School Board candidates!
- Bucks County Democratic Committee Endorses Mark Lomax for County Sheriff.
The primary race for county sheriff is contested this year. It’s remarkable that the Bucks County Democratic party has endorsed Mark Lomax and not the incumbent. Mark Lomax won 79% of the endorsement votes by the voting party members, reflecting that we the people demand leaders especially in law enforcement who has the vision and integrity to lead. Mark is recognized as an expert in community policing, a seasoned executive in Law enforcement organizations (e.g., Chief of Police Association), and with his work for the UN in Liberia, further reinforced in him the fragility and the importance of protecting a democracy. Mark Lomax will make a big difference in law enforcement in Bucks County.
- May 18 Primary: Need Your Vote on Three Critical Ballot Questions
There are four ballot questions on the primary ballot in May. Independent voters should vote on these questions as well. Watch this Ballot Questions video that will address all the ballot questions. The first two amendments attempt to curtail the ability of the Governor to manage during an emergency. Read why this is a bad idea from the Director of the PA Emergency Management Agency. VOTE NO.
- CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT #1 Empowers the legislature to extend or terminate an emergency declaration by resolution:
“Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to change existing law and increase the power of the General Assembly to unilaterally terminate or extend a disaster emergency declaration – and the powers of Commonwealth agencies to address the disaster regardless of its severity pursuant to that declaration
through passing a concurrent resolution by simple majority, thereby removing the existing check and balance of presenting a resolution to the Governor for approval or disapproval?” VOTE NO.
- CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT #2 Addresses the governor’s emergency powers, including requiring legislative approval to continue beyond 21 days.
“Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to change existing law so that: a disaster emergency declaration will expire automatically after 21 days, regardless of the severity of the emergency, unless the General Assembly takes action to extend the disaster emergency; the Governor may not declare a new disaster emergency to respond to the dangers facing the Commonwealth unless the General Assembly passes a concurrent resolution; the General Assembly enacts new laws for disaster management.” VOTE NO on both #1 and #2 so that the governor retains authority and the flexibility to implement emergency restrictions for as long as necessary.
- CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT #3 Prohibits denial or abridgement of rights on account of an individual’s race or ethnicity. VOTE YES to ensure that no one is denied equal rights based on Race or Ethnicity.
REMEMBER: Vote NO, NO, YES for the 3 constitutional amendments.