On Nov. 2, Philadelphians can vote for the district attorney, city controller and a slate of judges in the 2021 general election, The Temple News reported.
The Editorial Board urges all eligible voters to take the actions necessary to ensure their participation in the election, like applying to vote via mail-in ballot. Voters can register for a mail-in ballot through the PA Voter Services website until Oct. 26 at 5 p.m.
The mail-in-ballot option is not just for those that feel unsafe voting in person, currently do not live in Philadelphia or for individuals that are unable to receive time off from work to vote in-person at the polls.The Editorial Board believes everyone should apply for this option as a preventative measure against circumstances that would prevent them from casting their vote.
For example, if an individual feels sick the day of the election but can vote via mail, they’re able to avoid going to the polls and potentially spreading an illness while still being able to vote.
Once voters receive their ballot in the mail, they have two options. Voters can fill in the bubble next to their preferred candidate with blue or black pen immediately upon receiving the ballot, place it in the security envelope and seal it in a pre-addressed envelope, and mail the ballot in a timely fashion so that it reaches the county election board by the 8 p.m. deadline on Nov. 2, The Temple News reported.
The second method for voting with a mail-in ballot is to hand deliver it to the county elections office in Room 142 at City Hall or at one of the ballot drop boxes located in the other designated sites throughout the city by Nov. 2 at 8 p.m., like Eastern State Penitentiary on Fairmount Ave, The Temple News reported.
In the past, the mail-in ballot has been falsely labeled as, “unconstitutional,” and “a fraud,” but the fears that votes can be cast on behalf of dead people, that mailed-in votes result in a rigged election and other claims against the method have been disproved, The New York Times reported.
In the primary elections held in May 2021, only 21.1 percent of registered voters participated, according to the Office of the City Commissioners. Among those voters, the majority are registered in the Democratic Party, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State.
The Editorial Board believes that the local elections are the most important form of elections because their results will affect constituents in their day-to-day lives more so than federal and state elections. While the Democratic majority in the city prevents Philadelphia elections from being overly competitive, this does not negate their importance.