Letters to the Editor

Can elections be rigged?

To the Editor:

The League of Women Voters is being asked if elections can be rigged. The answer is NO! There are many checks and balances within the voting process to make sure our elections are safe.

The registration process ensures that only citizens are able to vote. The checks are based on your driver’s license and social security number. If you are changing your voter registration, a key component is the old and new address linking you to your previous voter record. All registration and voter information is stored in the PA Dept. of State SURE database in Harrisburg and a county wide list of voters can be purchased from the Dept. of State.

On Election Day, there are many built in safeguards. The machines are  delivered locked. Seals are publicly broken by the Judge of Elections, and the vote counter opening numbers are recorded. As a voter, you declare your name, and if a first time voter, show some form of identification which includes a current address. The clerks write your name and assign a voter number in a booklet that is given to both parties at the end of the day. Your signature is compared to the signature you used to register.

You are directed to voting machines, where you press buttons to select individual candidates, then press the VOTE button on the bottom right hand side to record your ballot. Each ballot cast advances the machine’s vote counter by one; the votes for each candidate are aggregated by the machine and a paper tally is printed out by the machine and given to county and party election officials after the polls close.

Provisional paper ballots are given to anyone who believes they should be allowed to vote but whose name is not listed on the voter list. These votes are not counted with absentee ballots and the validity of each provisional ballot is decided on by the Election Bureau in the week after the election.

Only trained poll workers, poll watchers and voters are allowed to be inside the polls. All others must be at least 10 feet from the poll location. Election observers can be outside the polls, as well as those handing out candidate information but no one can electioneer, solicit votes or intimidate voters.

After poll closing, the machines are shut down and sealed to make sure nothing can be changed on each machine. Reports are filled out and signed by the Judge of Elections and minority (party) inspector. Absentee ballots are counted. Copies of all results are hand-delivered to the County Election Bureau and given to each party.

On Election Day, poll workers sign documents testifying to what they did and a form to receive payment for working at the polls. The League of Women Voters is grateful to the citizens who spend their day making sure our elections go smoothly. You can vote knowing that your vote is important and will count.

Olivia Thorne
Wallingford
LWV Delaware County, President

No State Senate election in Swarthmore

To the Editor:

Thank you for the excellent overview of the positions of candidates for the 161st State House District and the 9th Senatorial District.

In a Presidential election year, down ballot races such as these are often overlooked. Yet state and local officeholders make many important decisions that have a very direct effect on our economic well-being.

This information will be useful to your many readers in Nether Providence, Rose Valley and perhaps some other nearby townships.

However, please alert Swarthmore voters, who I assume make up a major proportion of Swarthmorean readers, that they will not find candidates for the 9th Senatorial district on their ballot when they go to the polls. This is because Swarthmore is in the 26th Senatorial district currently represented by Thomas J. McGarrigle (R). This seat is not up for reelection until 2018.

There are 50 Senatorial Districts in the PA General Assembly. Only half, the odd numbered seats, are up for election this year. Even numbered seats, including Senate District 26 will be up for election in two years.

Go to Vote411.org, sponsored by the League of Women Voters, for nonpartisan information on the candidates and the amendment to the PA Constitution that will be on your ballot where you vote. You can also find a link to verify your registration status and polling place.

If you have problems voting, observe problems at a polling place, or need other voting information call 1-800-OUR-VOTE, the nationwide Election Protection coalition formed to ensure every citizen’s right to vote.

Lora Lavin
Swarthmore

Light up with luminaria

To the Editor:

It is Luminaria time! Once again, it is time to place your order for the Luminaria fundraiser, beautifully lighting up our streets on the evening of New Year’s Day, 2017. This fundraising event has supported ABC Strath Haven’s operating budget for more than 15 years and will continue the tradition in the future. And now, through collaboration with the Foundation for Wallingford Swarthmore Schools, and expanding the event into the rest of the district community, Luminaria contributes to other WSSD scholars.

The order window for the 2017 Luminaria fundraising event is November 1 thru November 30. You can order online at luminaria.abcstrathhaven.org or by placing a paper order with your block captain. (If your BC has not already delivered paper order forms to your door, he/she will be doing that very soon!)

Thank you as always for your generosity, and here’s to a great holiday season and a 2017 in which we all encounter many reminders of how lucky we are.

The Luminaria for WSSD Committee
Jean Steinke, Anne Clauss, Chris Darrell, Ann Pappa, Georgie Perullo and Julie Vrooman

A need to tidy up this little corner

To the Editor:

As we approach the season of thanks, I propose that in Swarthmore we take action to give ourselves more to be thankful for:

• Trash receptacles at the roundabout and Inn bus stops. With all of the immense discussion and praise for the new designs and construction, why are we facilitating litter in such highly visible areas? The responsibility seems to be a moving target, but the result is deplorable. Would some entity please take charge of the installation and maintenance of receptacles?

• A borough-wide clean up day (including the fences along the college/SEPTA properties and parking areas). Years ago, then-mayor Guy Smith galvanized a highly successful event, and the Borough is way overdue for another.

We would all have much to be grateful for if we could work together as a community to tidy up this little corner of the earth.

Barbara Ellen Stratton
Swarthmore

Vandalism

To the Editor:

Twice this fall someone has stolen our Hillary Clinton sign, and it has been vandalized. Either someone thinks that is funny, or this is political nastiness. Either way, this vandalism has to stop.

Thomas M. Izbicki
Swarthmore

Opening Pandora’s box?

To the Editor:

Here is something for Trump supporters to consider when they go to vote this Tuesday. If Trump wins, he will be the first elected president who has had no prior experience in public services or elected office of any kind. Do you really want to open this Pandora’s box?

Larry Lipton
Swarthmore

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