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Fowler: Be prepared to vote in November election
Guest Editorial

Fowler: Be prepared to vote in November election

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For 100 years, the League of Women Voters has chosen to support democracy by working to ensure the integrity of the electoral process and the participation of an informed electorate.

The league has fought to end gerrymandering, and is in the forefront of the most important federal and state voting rights cases around the country. Two of the major projects of the LWV Education Fund, Fair Districts PA (www.fairdistrictspa.com) and Vote411.org are focused on creating a transparent and fair redistricting process, and on providing online election-related information and assistance in both English and Spanish.

As a nonpartisan organization, the LWV does not endorse any candidate for office, nor align itself with any political party. Since the beginning, our message has been simple and direct: Vote!

This year, however, many voters are troubled by uncertainties that may affect the casting, collection and counting of their ballots in the general election. In response to those concerns, the LWV recently joined with the ACLU, the NAACP and Common Cause in a Commonwealth Court case to affirm Pennsylvania’s use of drop boxes for collecting mail-in votes and the way mail-in ballots were collected and tabulated in the June primary.

The league is also urging all eligible voters to take action now to be sure that you can cast a ballot for the candidates of your choice, and that you can vote in the manner of your choice. Attending to these details sooner rather than later will allow time for you to verify the receipt and accuracy of your documents on file with the Cumberland County Bureau of Elections before the anticipated flood of inquiries and materials they may receive as Election Day draws nearer.

  • If you’re not yet registered to vote in Pennsylvania, or if you’ve moved or had a name change recently, update your current registration now and beat the Oct. 19 deadline.
  • If you’ll be voting in person, confirm the location of your polling place now.
  • If you’ll be voting by mail for the first time (no reason required or absentee ballot), request a mail-in ballot now and beat the Oct. 27 deadline.
  • If you voted by mail in the June primary and wish to vote by mail again in November, check now to be certain that you’ve signed up to be a “permanent mail-in voter” so that you can automatically receive ballots by mail. Ballots for the general election are expected to be mailed to Cumberland County voters in mid-October.

You can do all these things quickly and confidentially at www.Vote411.org, the league’s website for voters and prospective voters. You can register, update and verify personal registration information, request and track your mail-in ballot, locate your polling place and view a list of candidates. The site has links for volunteering to be a poll worker and for reporting election day problems.

You can also access these resources through the website of the Cumberland County Board of Elections at www.ccpa.net or by contacting them at 717-240-6387.

Election Day 2020 will be a big day for Pennsylvanians. We’ll have the opportunity to vote for president of the United States and Pennsylvania’s attorney general and treasurer, and for their representatives to the U.S. Congress, the state Senate and the state House of Representatives. Prepare to participate. Vote!

Bonnie Fowler is the president of the League of Women Voters of the Carlisle Area and has more than 30 years experience as an executive, administrator and board member of nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations at the local, state and national levels.

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