All posts by bphifer

No Rest For The Weary

While we may have had much to celebrate in the Bradfords after the 2020 election, we must not rest on our laurels. We need to continue educating voters, increasing turnout, and electing wonderful candidates to our local, county, and state offices. Did you know that Pennsylvania has an election every year? Registered voters will have two opportunities to vote, in the spring primary and fall general election. This primary there is a twist! If referendum questions are on the ballot, then even Independents can vote in our closed primary. They can only vote on the questions that would change our state constitution. Unfortunately, they cannot vote on the candidates. So what does this referendum pertain to? Why should these questions concern every voter?

  • The first would limit the Governor’s power during emergency declarations. Maybe you disagree, but I believe Governor Wolf demonstrated logical and science based methodology to his mandates during the pandemic. His orders for masks, closings, and testing, have all been with the greater good in mind, to prevent as many Pennsylvanians as possible from contracting Covid and reducing the spread. Passing this bill could greatly impact the authority of the Governor in future crises
  • The second would in effect centralize the power of selecting judges in our courts to the middle of the state. This is nothing more than blatant gerrymandering. Manipulating the geography of our districts in order to sway votes in favor of one party’s agenda should absolutely not be allowed.
I also wanted to remind you about mail-in voting. If you have not done so, you’ll want to reapply for this option every year. Your mail-in ballot will not arrive automatically. You must request it again. Applications must be received no later than 5/1120 for the 5/18/20 primary.  Apply at: https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/OnlineAbsenteeApplication/#/OnlineAbsenteeBegin
The Bradfords are still looking for candidates in certain local elections. East Bradford is in need of a supervisor, auditor, tax collector, and constable candidates. There is also a need for a judge of elections and inspector of elections in every precinct. West Bradford is in need of an auditor and constable candidate, as well as a judge of elections and inspector of elections in every precinct. Please reach out to us if you’re interested in joining any of these races.
The candidates that have already thrown their hats in the ring will need nomination petitions signed in order to have their names on the ballot this May. We have scheduled a drive-thru signing event on Saturday, February 20th,  11 AM – 1 PM.
I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the recent House impeachment and Senate acquittal. I cannot fully express my disappointment in the 47 Republican senators that voted to acquit. All I can say is that we will not forget your error and your seats will be in jeopardy. Pennsylvania, and Chester County specifically, did an amazing job mobilizing for the election last year and our efforts helped push Joe Biden over the edge in securing Pennsylvania’s electoral votes. Many of us also made calls, wrote postcards, and donated to Georgia’s senate runoff race. This win for Warnock and Ossoff was essential for reducing the power of Mitch McConnell and leveling the playing field in the Senate. Again, when we come together and combine our resources, we truly have the power to invoke change. That is exactly what we’ll do in 2022 when many of these Republican senators are up for reelection.
With that, I wish you well. Mask up, get vaccinated, stay distant, and stay well.
Bradford Democrats Chair / Zone Leader Theresa Soja

2021: Just Getting Started!

Happy New Year, Bradford Democrats,
(A message from our Chair, Theresa Soja)…

2021 has started off on a dramatic note. We witnessed two historic senate wins in Georgia, and within a day, an insurrection in our Capitol, followed closely by a very warranted second impeachment. I am hoping for a peaceful transition of power on January 20, but if one thing is certain these past 12 months, expect the unexpected. My thoughts will be with all those protecting our nation and democracy that day. There are many options for watching Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ Inauguration. If you’d like to join ours, use this Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84702652785?pwd=bXpwMXlwZjFrYTEyYVF5V2k5U3Frdz09
Meeting ID: 847 0265 2785
Passcode: 096104

East and West Bradford Townships saw record-setting voter turnout in November, and we’d like to keep that momentum going. Our local elections immensely shape our schools and community, which is why we need Democrats to run for elected office. Below is a list of this year’s races. If anyone is interested in running, please email info@bradforddems.org and our group will be happy to provide you with helpful tips on getting started. The Chester County Democratic Committee is also seeking a someone to fill the Treasurer officer position.

  • East Bradford Township Supervisor
  • East Bradford Township Auditor
  • West Bradford Township Auditor
  • East Bradford Township Tax Collector
  • West Bradford Township Tax Collector
  • East Bradford Township Constable
  • West Bradford Township Constable
  • East Bradford Judge of Elections, all precincts
  • West Bradford Judge of Elections, all precincts
  • East Bradford Inspector of Elections, all precincts
  • West Bradford Inspector of Elections, all precincts
  • Downingtown School Board, Region 2 & 4, West Bradford
  • West Chester Area School Board, Region 3

Lastly, since candidates running for these offices need to gather signatures from registered Democrats (in consideration of the pandemic) during the period Feb. 16 – March 9, we will soon distribute information pertaining to drive-thru petition signing events as well as registering for mail-in ballots for the May 18 Primary Election.

The PA Republican majority in Harrisburg is also finalizing HB38 for submission on the ballot as a state Constitutional Amendment that would gerrymander state judicial districts such that residents would lose a say in electing Supreme Court and Commonwealth Court judges. This is a Republican response to 2020 court decisions they did not like.  Should this bill pass and reach the ballot in the May primary, we will need to discuss strategies to defeat this partisan attempt to take over judicial districts.

Until we “see” you again, stay safe, stay healthy, and mask up.

Thank You to E & W Bradford Voters for Electing Democrats to Represent Us!

The November 3, 2020 Presidential Election brought out the voters to East & West Bradford, and big wins for our local candidates!

Out of 18,028 registered voters, 15,529 cast ballots this year, and incredible turnout of 86.13%. This represented over a 7% increase in turnout from 2016. Nearly as many voters cast their ballot by mail as in-person (just over 100 fewer), in consideration of the 2020 Covid-19 health crisis.

Congratulations to President-Elect Joe Biden and VP-Elect Kamala Harris on their 15 point (about 2,400 votes) victory in the two townships. Additionally US 6th District Rep. Chrissy Houlahan won re-election here by 11 points and our new State Senator Carolyn Comitta won by  8 points in our zone. Christina Sappey (158th PA House) lost the two townships by a few points but won overall in the district by a narrow 518 votes (showing the importance of every vote).  At the state level, Attorney General Josh Shapiro was re-elected handily.

US 6th Dist. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan
PA 19th Senator-Elect Carolyn Comitta
PA 158th House Rep. Christina Sappey

 

 

 

 

 

The 2020 Presidential Election is November 3, 2020 – What You Need to Know…

Polls Open 7:00 am – 8:00 pm

Note: “Vote-by-Mail”, because of the ongoing health crisis and expected long lines at the polls, is a recommended option – safe and secure. All mail-in ballots must be mailed & postmarked by 8:00 pm on November 3. But this close to the election, the post  office may not be the most reliable means to ensure your vote is counted,  so read below the options you will have for submitting your completed ballots earlier or on Election Day if you choose not to use USPS. You can also track your ballot’s progress and make sure it has been received here.

YOUR OPTIONS

If Voting in person on Election Day

  • Maintain social distance while standing in line
  • Wear a mask
  • See the Dems table for an enlarged sample ballot (take a photo or scan QRC code). We will also have a QRC code to scan to check status of your mail-in ballot to see if it was received; if not, you can request a provisional ballot.
  • Complete the entire ballot – there is no longer a ‘straight party vote’ option
  • Use hand sanitizer after you leave the polling place

If Voting by Mail

  • No postage is necessary
  • When you receive your ballot packet from Chester County Voter Services, be sure to keep 1) the outside signature and address envelope, 2) inside secrecy envelope, and 3) your ballot; you will need all three for your vote to count!
  • Fill in the bubbles fully (no X or checkmarks accepted) and for all races (there is no longer a ‘straight party vote’ option.)
  • Insert your ballot in the secrecy envelope and insert this inside the outer envelope. Note: if you discover you have misplaced the secrecy envelope, you may use a blank envelope instead. Do not write your name or anything on the secrecy envelope as it will invalidate your ballot.
  • Most importantly, remember to include your name, address, and SIGNATURE on the OUTER envelope
  • Complete and return your ballot as quickly as possible!  After October 20, we do not recommend mailing it; use one of Chester County’s secure drop boxes instead
  • Check the status of your ballot here!

Early Voting and Election Day Chester County Drop Box Option

See the Chester County Voter Information Portal for locations and times and everything you need to know to make your vote count!

  • This link shows the Ballot Box Drop-Off Locations, including the one closest to your address (for E & W Bradford, these are likely the Chester County Government Services Building in West Chester and the Downingtown Library at 128 Wallace Avenue -next to Kerr Park in Downingtown.) You must drop it off in person, and may not carry someone else’s ballot.
  • Beginning October 7 but only until October 27, two Satellite Voting Centers at the Henrietta Hankin Library in Chester Springs, and the Oxford Public Library will be open to allow you to request a ballot, complete, and submit it all at the same time. (Bring identification.)
  • Use this website to track your ballot
  • You can also drop off your completed mail-in ballot (using the secrecy envelope and placed inside your signed outside envelope) prior to 8:00 PM on Election Day at one of the listed ballot drop-boxes (includes Downingtown library) or at the Chester County Government Services Center, 601 Westtown Road in West Chester – do not take them to your regular polling location