Voter Service Newsletter: May 5, 2020
League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh
(1) Candidate Forums: Candidates for the June 2 Primary Election are unable to hold public meetings or conduct door knocking. The League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh is conducting six teleconference candidate forums to provide an opportunity for them to answer their constituents’ questions. The public may submit questions for any/all forums at this email (lwvpgh [at] gmail.com ()), by texting or leaving a message at 412-301-5122, or by contacting us on social media.
After many committee discussions, we decided to use Zoom for our teleconference forums. Thanks for all the input many of you gave during that brainstorming. The LWVGP will record the first five forums below on the date and time noted. The forums will then be uploaded to the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh’s Facebook page as soon as possible thereafter: http://facebook.com/lwvpgh . Voters can view the forums on Facebook and “share” them to their own Facebook pages. WTAE-TV will record and broadcast the forum for the 18th Congressional District.
On screen you will see each candidate and the LWVGP moderator. Behind the scenes are a LWVGP timer and a host and co-host (director/asst. director) who insure the right person is on screen and heard. Everyone is in his/her own homes. Thanks to the very hard work of the forum subcommittee who have met (virtually) weekly and then multiple days a week for hours at a time to figure out how to do this and then to practice by holding mock forums: Ron Bandes, Cris Beuger, Judy Clack, Steve Clack, Emily Ferri, Greg Garbinsky, Maureen Grosheider, Eileen Olmsted, Annette Shimer, Preston Shimer.
DateTime*DistrictCandidates Participating in LWVGP Primary Forums
Wed. May 67:00 PMPA House 36Jessica Benham, Mark Johnson, Heather Kass, and Edward Moeller
Tues. May 127:00 PMPA Senate 43Sen. Jay Costa and William Brittain
Thurs. May 141:30 PMPA House 20Rep. Adam Ravenstahl and Emily Kinkead
Thurs. May 147:00 PMPA House 34Rep. Summer Lee and Chris Roland
Mon. May 182:00 PMPA House 30Marco Attisano and Lissa Geiger-Shulman
Tues. May 197:00 PMU S Congress 18Rep. Mike Doyle and Gerald Dickinson (WTAE will record this one forum. It will be broadcast at 7 PM on May 20 on WTAE.)
*Times noted above are recording times for each forum. Look for them on our Facebook page about 24 hours later.
(2) Vote411.org: Vote411 is LIVE! Go to Vote411.org. Enter your home address. Your personal ballot appears with candidate information from President, through PA statewide offices, through State Senate and Legislative races. See candidate photos, biography, and answers to several LWV questions. Compare and contrast the candidates.
Many thanks to Annette Shimer who chaired the Vote411 project again and was the Allegheny County liaison with LWVPA. Thanks also to these League members who called and emailed all Allegheny County candidates who had not yet responded: Renee Abrams, Joyce Beard, Jane Butler, Judy Clack, Kathy Herbst, Paula Hopkins, Nancy Mott, Christine Peters, Ellie Siegal, Heather Wechter, and Michelle Zmijanac.
(3) Voters Guide: A hard copy LWVGP Voters Guide for the June 2 Primary will be published by The New Pittsburgh Courier on Wed. May 20. A PDF of that guide will be posted on our website and shared with all area libraries and many area organizations. We are unable to deliver copies around the community, as we usually do, because of the coronavirus. Thanks to Barb Simpson and Annette Shimer for pulling together all the content for this Voters Guide. It will include candidate responses for Vote411, which includes all Allegheny County house races.
(4) Voter Education Projects: Thanks to Emily Ferri who has posted a series of creative images to encourage the public to submit questions for our candidate forums, as well as notify the public of the forums. Go to our Facebook page http://facebook.com/lwvpgh, “like” the images, and “share” one or two to your own Facebook page – and send in some questions!!
Thanks to Judy Diorio who wrote to every university at which we held voter registration as well as those whose events were cancelled. She explained the Absentee Ballot procedure for those students who had applied for Absentee Ballots to be mailed to their college address, but now they are at home due to the coronavirus emergency. She also highlighted the mail-in ballot application.
Thanks to Kristin Henson, Amy Kleissas, and Heather Wechter who revised and updated the Voting webpage on the NEW LWVGP WEBSITE and the most Frequently Asked Questions list. Check it out here: https://my.lwv.org/pennsylvania/greater-pittsburgh/elections-and-voting
Thanks to Amy Kleissas who updated the Voter Education page on our NEW LWVGP website: https://my.lwv.org/pennsylvania/greater-pittsburgh/voter-education . Amy included links to the entire high school lesson in Civic Education and Voter Registration so the public in general as well as all high school students will have access to it. Read Amy’s attached report to see how she reached out with this lesson to all the county’s closed schools.
Voter Registration: All community, high school, college, and naturalization ceremonies have been canceled through the end of May due to the coronavirus pandemic. Judy Clack will reach out to volunteers once events are re-scheduled. However, our volunteers’ physical health is of prime importance.
(5) Allegheny County Election Updates from “Allegheny Alerts”: Enroll for your free “Allegheny Alerts” account and receive these messages via email and/or text. Go to www.alleghenycounty.us/alerts.
Mon. May 18Last day to register to vote
Tues. May 26Last day to apply for an absentee of mail-in ballot
Tues. June 2Primary Election Day: 7 am – 8 pm
Tues. June 2Last day for County Boards of Elections to RECEIVE absentee or mail-in ballots by 8 pm.
Sample Ballots – 050120: Sample Ballots for the June 2, 2020 Primary Election are now available on the county's website.Visit the Elections website and select the Voter Services tab for a link to the sample ballots, or go directly to the online app at http://apps.alleghenycounty.us/website/ElectPollPlace.aspx
Polling Place Consolidation- 042820: The Elections Division announced today that it has submitted the resolution passed by the Board of Elections to the Department of State. The resolution was accompanied by an outline of a plan for the consolidation of present polling places into likely 200-300 locations. There will be no fewer than one polling place per municipality, with the exception of the City of Pittsburgh which will have no fewer than nine polling places. The communication also emphasized that the expectation is that in larger municipalities, there will be multiple polling places, but work will be done to provide that they are housed within the same location. As appropriate, additional or alternate locations will also be identified by Elections to further the goal of physical distancing when a large volume of in-person voters are expected.For more information, visit https://j.mp/2VL9m6N.
Mail-In Ballot Applications – 042020: The Division of Elections today announced that staff is finalizing mailings to registered voters in the county containing mail-in ballot applications for the June 2 primary election. The mailing will include the mail-in ballot application and a postage-paid, addressed envelope to return that application to the Elections office. Voters are also encouraged to apply online for the ballot which also offers an opportunity to receive email updates on the status of the application and ballot throughout the election season. Information on how to apply and links to the online application can be found at alleghenyvotes.com.Read more: https://j.mp/2XLdpSe.
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay home.
Judy Clack, Voter Service Chair, LWVGP; 512-731-0280, jbclack [at] yahoo.com ()