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Election and Voter registration info

Postby davidk » Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:33 pm

If anyone has any questions concerning elections or voting in Pa. Please feel free to contact me at my email address politicalgadfly@aol.com.

In the meantime here is a short primer on elections.

In oder to vote in Pa. you must be at least 18 years old and have resided in the district (Newton has only one district) for at least 30 days prior to the election.

You must be registered to vote at least 30 day prior to either the Primary or General (even numbered year) or Municipal (odd numbered year) elections in November.

Registration applications are available in many places, including the library, post office, government offices, or call Voter Registration and they will mail you one.

If you have not voted in several years you are probably still registered. The culling of names has changed over the years but if in doubt check.

If you are not sure if you are registered or where you may be registered you can visit http://www.votespa.com  or call 1 877 868 3772 and enter your name, date of birth and county of residency. There is also information available there to contact the local county voter registration office.

On May 21, 2013 Pa. will again hold its annual Primary Election.
The Primary is considered closed as only registered members of the Democratic  or Republican Parties are eligible to cast ballots towards nominating the respective parties candidates for the November election.

Polls open at 7:00 AM and close at 8:00 PM. (if you are still in line at 8:00 PM you must be allowed to cast a ballot)

Current Pa. law mandates that the poll workers ask to see a government issued photo ID before you are allowed to vote. However, due to pending litigation concerning this law the legislature has suspended the mandate for the May 2013 Primary. The election officials will ask for an ID, but you are not required to show them one.

If there is doubt or question as to your eligibility to cast a vote at the polling place you believe you are registered you may cast a provisional ballot which will be sealed and held pending settlement of the issue. The Judge of Elections will explain the procedure to you.

You can either go to the poll on election day or cast an absentee ballot.

If seeking to vote absentee you must procure and submit an absentee ballot application. Voter Registration will mail you one upon request and most campaigns and volunteers have them available (I carry them with me year round along with voter registration forms).

To legally vote absentee you must show cause (work, travel, illness, etc.) and not be within the voting district (in Newton that means anywhere in the township) during normal voting hours 7:00 AM to 8:00PM.

The application must be filled out and signed by the applicant and mailed or hand delivered to the county elections office no later than the close of business the Tuesday prior to the date of the election (applications can be filled out at the office and they will hand you a ballot which you can fill out and cast there).

If mailing or hand delivering a completed absentee ballot it must be in the Voter Registration office by the close of business on the Friday prior to Election Day. If hand delivered it must be done so by the applicant themselves, you cannot hand deliver someone else's ballot, not even a spouse.

Should you submit an absentee ballot and are in the district during voting hours on election day you must go to the poll and void the absentee ballot, then vote as you normally would.

If you are believed to have been in the district during voting hours your absentee ballot may be challenged and potentially voided. You are legally obligated to cast an in person ballot in if in the district during voting hours.

This year (2013) will also feature several referendums on the ballot.
Because of the referendums all registered electors will be allowed to vote on May 21, even if they are not a Republican or Democrat. Independents and members of other (so called third or minor) parties will be given a separate ballot to fill out and cast.
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Re: Election and Voter registration info

Postby Sal » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:30 pm

Thanks for the helpful information David.

I would like to add that while not official at the time of writing, it looks like the voting location will be moved back to the Newton Township municipal building.  

All of the candidates for the Newton Twp. primary are republican.

There are two candidates running for one open supervisor position, Robert Naegele and John Shaffer.  You can only vote for one.

Two other people are running for positions unopposed; Wilber Waltz for Auditor and Ruth Hayden for Tax Collector.

[Check back for updates or register on this website for email updates.]
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