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Countdown to the Nov. 8 election

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If you have not yet registered to vote, you have disenfranchised yourself. You will not be able to vote in the Nov. 8 election.

The deadline to register to vote as well as to update your registration (name or address change) was Oct. 24. Commit to registering to vote or updating your registration so you will be able to carry out your civic duty at the next election.

Your vote is your voice. You muted yourself. To confirm that your registration is valid, go to vote411.org or vote.pa.gov.

You have five decisions to make – U.S. Senator, Pa. Governor (and Lieutenant Governor), Representative in U.S. Congress, Senator in the Pa. General Assembly, and Representative in the Pa. General Assembly. They are all important decisions.

For information about the candidates, go to (1) the LWV Voter’s Guide that was published last week (Thursday, Oct. 20) in the Bucks County Herald, (2) vote411.org, and (3) spotlightpa.org.

VOTING BY MAIL. If you plan to vote by mail and have not yet requested a mail-in ballot, take action quickly. The deadline for requesting a mail-in ballot is Tuesday, November 1 – one week before the election. To request your mail-in ballot, go to vote.pa.gov.

If you requested a mail-in ballot and have not yet received it, call the Bucks County Board of Elections (215-348-6154).

If you received your mail-in ballot, complete it carefully; your vote will be disallowed if you do not follow the rules. (1) Use blue or black ink. (2) Read the instructions carefully before completing your ballot. (3) Completely fill in the oval beside each candidate of choice; complete only one oval for each of the five offices. Verify your five selections. (4) Insert your completed ballot in the white ‘secrecy’ envelope titled Official Election Ballot; make no marks on this inner ‘secrecy’ envelope. Seal the envelope. If you do not place your ballot in the ‘secrecy’ envelope, your vote will not count.

(5) Insert the Official Election Ballot in the green and white return envelope addressed to the Bucks County Courthouse. Seal the return envelope. (6) After reading the voter’s declaration on the back of the outside envelope, write your signature in the box below the voter’s declaration, marked X. (7) Write the date under your signature.

Depending on the date that you complete the mail-in ballot, either mail it (don’t forget to attach a stamp), deliver it to the Bucks County Board of Elections personally, or place it in a designated Drop Box personally. For the locations of Drop Boxes and hours of operation, go to buckscounty.gov.

If you mail your ballot, be certain you post it in time to be physically in the county Board of Elections office by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Postmarks are not relevant.

If it is Nov. 1 or later, don’t take a chance on the mail; instead, deliver it to a Drop Box. If you have a disability that prevents you from returning your own ballot, you may fill out a form to designate someone to return your form; the designee must have this form on hand when that person returns your ballot.

If you received a mail-in ballot, but decide you want to vote in person, or if you make an error filling it out, you can still vote in person, but you must surrender your mail-in ballot and both return envelopes at your polling place on election day. If you can’t find your mail-in ballot, you may still vote using a Provisional Ballot.

VOTING IN PERSON. If you vote in person, (1) be sure you have identification with you if you are a first time voter or you moved and you are voting at your precinct for the first time; (2) consider taking your children with you, to educate them about voting; (3) be in the line to vote at your polling place by 8 p.m. Polls open at 7 a.m.

Due to redistricting, some polling places have been changed. To confirm your polling place, go to Vote411.org. (Note that If your address contains a direction such as “S Main Street”, you must enter it as “Main Street South”.)

Follow all the rules carefully to ensure that your vote counts.


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