Info for the May 18 Primary Election

[The following information is based on an email issued May 1 to members and friends of Open Wards Philadelphia. Used with permission.]

With the May 18 primary coming up fast, please share the information below with your networks! Forward away!!!

CHECK YOUR CURRENT STATUS

  • Check your current status. Remember that only registered Democrats and Republicans can vote for candidates in primary elections. All voters regardless of party affiliation can vote on ballot questions.

WHO CAN VOTE BY MAIL

  • Voting by mail is safe, secure and convenient, with the benefit of providing time to review and complete your ballot at home. Any registered PA voter is allowed to request a Mail-in Ballot. (Don’t bother with the Absentee!)
  • Request a Mail-in Ballot ASAP. Applications must be received by Tuesday, May 11, at 5 pm. Postmarks don’t count.  Voters who apply online must already be registered and can use either their PA driver’s license number or the last four digits of their social security number. Learn more.
  • Make sure to enter your email with your Mail-in Ballot application, and you will get updates as it is processed and as your ballot goes from your county to you and back to be counted. Check the status of your Mail-in Ballot.

HOW TO COMPLETE YOUR MAIL-IN BALLOT

Follow these steps carefully:

  1. Fill out your ballot: Read the instructions and make your selections in every race and question on the ballot, front and back. Don’t vote for more candidates than you are allowed.
  2. Pack and seal it: Put your ballot in the plain secrecy envelope that says “Official Election Ballot” and seal. Then put the secrecy envelope in the larger ballot-return envelope with “Business Reply Mail” on the front.
  3. Sign it and date it and seal it: Complete the “Voter’s Declaration” on the ballot-return envelope. Make sure to sign AND date it. Seal the ballot-return envelope. Ballots will not be counted if the Voter’s Declaration is unsigned or undated, according to a November court ruling.
  4. Return it by mail or dropbox:
    1. By mail – Do this EARLY. Ballots must be received by 8 pm on May 18 to be counted. Postmarks do not count. A grace period, available for the Presidential Election last November, no longer applies.
    2. At a dropbox – Drop off your voted ballot at one of fourteen convenient, monitored 24/7, secure dropboxes. Find a list at PhiladelphiaVotes.com.
    3. In person – The Board of Elections office in City Hall, Room 140 is currently open for in-person mail-ballot voting. Voters may request a mail-in ballot in-person, receive it, vote, and return it all during the same visit. Room 140 is open from 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday and on Election Day until 8pm. Voters should enter through the south gate of City Hall.

WHAT’S ON THE BALLOT THIS ELECTION?

A lot! We recommend checking out the following resources:

Philadelphia Judicial Candidate Forum

Open Wards Philly-Meet the Judicial Candidates: April 20, 21, 22

Tonight I co-moderate the first of three Meet the Judicial Candidates, sponsored by Open Wards Philly. For purposes of disclosure, I am on the group’s Steering Committee and a member of their Communications Subcommittee.

The candidates forum will take place across three evenings on April 20, 21, and 22 from 6:30pm – 8:00pm. The candidates running for Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia, which deals with a variety of consequential civil and criminal matters, will each speak for 15-minute segments to introduce themselves and field questions.

To register for the forums go to: bit.ly/OWPevent.

Judicial Races in Philadelphia: A Panel Discussion

The following information is based on an email issued by the group, Open Wards Philly. Note, I am a member of the group.

With local judicial elections coming up, Open Wards Philly invites you to attend their next meeting on March 9 for a special panel discussion on how judicial races really work and the importance of Bar Association ratings when choosing a candidate to support.

  • Judicial Election Panelist include:
    Steph Davis, member of the Philadelphia Bar Association Judicial Commission
  • Tianna Kalogerakis, Vice Chair of the Campaign for Qualified Judges, former president of The Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia and member of Judicial Commission
  • Matt Monroe, former Common Pleas Court candidate

Meetings of Open Wards Philly are open to any and all committee people, or aspiring committee people, who are motivated to make the party ward system fairer and more democratic.

To attend, complete the Register to Attend link on the Open Wards Philly website.