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Guest Opinion

We all need to vote on May 16


On Tuesday May 16, “we the people” of Bucks County will select the candidates who will represent the Republican and Democratic parties in the upcoming November municipal election for county, borough and township positions, as well as a variety of judicial positions. In addition, the May 16 election selects the candidates who will run for school boards in November.

In Bucks County, there are a whopping 367 candidates who want to represent us. While the number of candidates sounds overwhelming, residents of different boroughs and townships will be voting only for candidates in their respective municipalities, except for the judicial positions.

By going to the League of Women Voters’ (LWV) voting website ( and entering your address, you will see which candidates will be on your ballot; these are the only candidates you need to evaluate.

There are multiple sources of information about your candidates, including the Republican ( and Democratic ( websites, the LWV’s online voting website ( and the LWV’s Voters Guide, published by the Bucks County Herald today. In addition, Spotlight PA, a nonpartisan newsroom ( is covering the primary in extensive detail.

Also, the LWV of Bucks County has invited all candidates running in the Central Bucks School District to participate in individual interviews. Recordings of these interviews are available on the LWV website (

Do you think you don’t need to bother voting? You are not alone. Historically, the municipal primary election attracts the fewest voters. In the last municipal primary wo years ago, only one-fourth of the eligible voters turned out. This is appalling.

In past elections, school board directors have won or lost by single digits. We cannot let this happen again.

You are mistaken if you believe you don’t need to vote. While many citizens believe local elections are not important, our day-to-day life is impacted more by the decisions made at the local level than at the national level.

This level of voter apathy is a clear threat to our struggling democracy. This raises an issue about the upcoming May 16 primary election.

As explained in a previous LWV article in the Herald, Pennsylvania has closed primaries. This means only citizens registered in one of the two major parties can vote. Yet the primary election includes races for school board directors, who are expected to be nonpartisan when making decisions about the education of our children. Most of these candidates cross-file and are running on both the Republican and Democratic tickets. Given the current serious disagreements in our Bucks County schools, everyone should have a voice in who runs our schools. The directors should be selected by a majority of all citizens, not by a majority of one-fourth of our eligible voters.

Currently, 17% of Bucks County voters are unaffiliated with either the Republican or Democratic party.

The only way these citizens can vote in the upcoming primary is to change their registration, and affiliate, temporarily, with one of the two parties.

We all need to step up and vote on May 16. Democracy is not a spectator sport.


1. Commit to vote on May 16.(And commit to becoming a regular voter.)

2. Register to vote if you are not registered; change your registration if you are not currently affiliated with either the Democratic or Republican parties; change your registration if you recently moved or changed your name. Go to (Deadline: May 1.) Do it now!

3. Decide whether to vote in person or via mail-in ballot. If the latter, request a mail-in ballot by going to May 9.)

4. Be responsible. Do your homework. Be informed. Select the best candidates.

5. Consider not voting for candidates not willing to answer the nonpartisan questions asked of all candidates. Why support candidates unwilling to disclose their positions?

6. VOTE.

Cathy Morano is a member of the League of Women Voters of Bucks County, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to providing voter education and services and advocating for issues. It envisions a democracy where every person has the desire, the right, the knowledge and the confidence to participate.

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