It’s May – the beginning of Election Season 2022!
Enjoy the warmer weather, but please keep in mind that the future of our freedoms, and Democracy, is at stake.
This will be the first federal and state-wide election since the events of January 6, 2021, when Trump-backed insurgents attempted to end our democracy – and they have not given up.
Further, a draft Supreme Court decision has been released that overturns the landmark ruling that has stood for 50 years guaranteeing the freedom of families and women to make healthcare decisions without government interference. This is an absurd ruling – and Republicans are lining up in Chester County to vote to make this fundamental right illegal in Pennsylvania.
The November 2 mid-term election will decide whether this happens, sending us all backwards to a time before 1973 when women of all ages and means had to seek out dangerous and risky health care or make a decision to upend their lives and carry a baby that could put their own life and/or livelihood and planned future at risk.
Our first step is to rally registered voters to cast their vote in the Primary Election on May 17. Many of the races are not being contested within the Democratic Party, but you will have your vote and voice in placing the following on the November ballot. All will be critical in keeping Pennsylvania from moving backwards:
- PA Governor
- PA Lt. Governor
- US Senator from PA
- US Congresswoman from PA’s 6th District
- Representative in the PA General Assembly (156th in East Bradford, 158th in West Bradford)
In addition, you will vote for your Democratic precinct and state committeepersons. These Democrats will be working hard to educate voters and get out the vote this year.
See the sample ballot for your precinct for more information; you can read about the candidates and get important voting information on the chescodems.org website.
Here it is, March already, and we still do not have final resolution on the decennial redistricting. These decisions will result in the district maps and boundaries that we will be using until 2032, so it’s critically important that they be drawn fairly. Pennsylvania needs to finally replace the last 10 years of gerrymandered districts drawn by a Republican legislature and signed off by then-Governor Tom Corbett in 2011.
The good news is that we have finalized US Congressional maps, and Chester County will remain wholly in the US 6th District currently represented by Chrissy Houlahan, with parts of Berks County.
We are still waiting for court decisions that will decide district boundaries for the PA General Assembly (House and Senate seats). East and West Bradford currently reside in the 158th House district served by Christina Sappey and the 19th Senate district held by Carolyn Comitta. The ‘latest’ and most likely – but not certain pending PA Supreme Court rulings – indicate that East Bradford moves to the 156th and West Bradford remains in the 158th. Both townships are likely to remain in the 19th Senate District.
In those races, Democrat Christina Sappey will be running for re-election in the 158th, and two Democratic candidates (Chester County Recorder of Deeds Chris Pielli and West Goshen Supervisor Ashley Gagne) have announced they are running for the 156th open seat since current Rep. Dianne Herrin is retiring.
We will continue to keep you posted on the progress with redistricting as court challenges are resolved.
2022 is the year that new district maps for the US Congress and PA Senate and General Assembly are drawn and go into effect for this decade based on the decennial US Census. Since other states gained more population relative to Pennsylvania, we will be losing one Congressional seat (18 to 17). However, the population shifts towards Southeast PA and away from more northern and western rural areas also mean that district changes should be favorable to this area, and level the playing field somewhat.
The redistricting process is ongoing, but with significant partisan pressure by the Republican-majority legislature to put forward gerrymandered Republican-leaning maps – although the state continues to lean Democratic.
The Legislative Redistricting Commission (LRC) can vote to adopt final state legislative maps any day now, but there’s a 30-day period to file legal challenges after they do that, which overlaps with the current February 15-March 9 petition-signing period for candidates to get on the May 17 Primary Election.
So, of course the Republicans are delaying final approval of fair maps and are insisting that the 2022 election should go forward with the 2010-based gerrymandered maps instead. A lawsuit (by Democrats) has been filed in Commonwealth Court urging a change in the election calendar (possibly just a delay in petitions) to ensure new state legislative maps can be used for the 2022 election. So the election calendar remains volatile.
We will keep you posted. But it seems likely that the Bradford Dems will be knocking on doors later than the normal timeframe to ask for your signature on nominating petition forms for Dem candidates.
Many voters would just as soon turn away from anything to do with politics and elections, given the 2020 election and the angry Republican rhetoric and lies following the defeat of the former president – and then the January 6 insurrection.
And there is also the 2021 state of affairs in Washington and Harrisburg, where Republican legislative followers of #45 would rather nothing gets done. Everyone is looking to 2022 when new legislative districts will be drawn and “mid-term” election battles fought.
BUT – we do have an important election this year to determine whether Chester County will continue to lead the state in employment, median income, health, and (we believe) happiness. Republican politicians – who in the history of the area generally use county offices for party patronage and to build their pensions rather than do the hard work of governing – are lining up to “take back Chester County”. And people with no agenda other than to fight for their freedom to infect others with Covid, or disrupt school board meetings in West Chester and Downingtown over a lie about Critical Race Theory are ready to take over offices with their angry brand of Trumpism – but no desire to keep our communities and schools the best in the state. The fact is – Democrats Deliver!
So we – the East and West Bradford Democrats – ask for you to exercise this fundamental voting right on November 2 (7am-8pm) and vote for the Democratic slate.
But voting by mail is super safe and easy, and you won’t need to worry about the weather or unvaccinated voters in line. Simply sign up at vote.pa.gov. Once you have received, completed, and mailed or turned in your ballot before November 2, you can sit back, feel good about your vote, and easily track the status online.
You can check out sample ballots and correspond with your precinct committee people here.