"The League is proud to serve as a member of this commission and we thank Governor Wolf for the opportunity to lend our voice to this effort," LWV PA President Susan Carty said. "We are confident that this nonpartisan effort will work to adequately address Pennsylvania's redistricting problem in a thoughtful, deliberative way and help make Pennsylvania's elections fairer and more democratic."
The League encourages our members to remain engaged in the fight against gerrymandering and support the aims of the commission by attending one or more of the six public hearings that will be held around the state and submitting online comments supporting redistricting reform. We thank the Governor for making redistricting reform a priority and we thank our members for their tireless work toward this important goal.
Candidates running for offices at the federal and state level participated in six candidate forums hosted and moderated by the League. Two of the six forums were in partnership with Bucks County Chambers of Commerce. Delaware Valley University hosted two forums and provided assistance in videotaping, and most other venues were provided free or for a reduced cost. All who participated made these forums a great service for our citizens. We were impressed by the number of people who attended the forums; several were at capacity with 300 - 400 attendees. The candidates and attendees were civil and polite, allowing everyone in attendance to get value from the events.
Voters visited our web site in great numbers during November, looking for non-partisan candidate information in our Voters' Guide and information about our forums. Media partners helped by publicizing information about our guide and forums. Bucks County Transport generously donated signs on their vans publicizing Election Day.
The League's membership of men and women has also grown by well over 25% over the past several years. Interest surveys of our members indicate an increased interest in non-partisan volunteerism with a desire to educate voters and work for fair, accessible elections.
With the holiday season as a special time to reflect and express gratitude, we wish to recognize the candidates who participated in candidate forums, the generous venue hosts and forum partners, the dedicated volunteers of the League and most importantly, you, the voters, who make democracy work.
League of Women Voters of Bucks County
Doylestown, PA - The League of Women Voters of Bucks County will be participating in National Voter Registration Day, a nationwide, nonpartisan effort now in its seventh year, to register thousands of voters on Tuesday, September 25th. League volunteers will be at the Pipersville Free Library, Bucks County Free Library in Doylestown and Warminster Township Free Library on September 25th to assist voters who want to register or update their registration. October 9 is the deadline to register or update voter registrations in Pennsylvania ahead of the General Election on Tuesday, November 6.
"This election is important - offices to be voted on include a U.S. Senator, Governor and Lieutenant Governor, a number of senators and representatives in the general assembly. Every eligible Bucks County citizen deserves the chance to weigh in," said Sue Houston, the League's Citizen Advocacy Committee Chair. "Voter registration is the key to helping shape the future of our country. As is our tradition, we offer voter registration events prior to registration deadlines and encourage people to register any time using VotesPA.com or contacting our Board of Elections here in Bucks County."
League volunteers will be at the Pipersville Free Library from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM and again from 7:00m PM to 8:30 PM; Warminster Township Free Library from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM; and at Bucks County Free Library Doylestown from 9:00 AM until 9:00 PM.
"The League of Women Voters of Bucks County empowers hundreds of voters through education, registration and get-out-the-vote activities in every election," said League Co-President Jan Hendershot, "We encourage voters to visit LWVBucks.org to learn about the candidate forums we are hosting and learn about resources to assist you with voter registration. Candidate-provided information on issues will be on VOTE411.org, in late September by the League of Women Voters. As a non-partisan group in existence nationally now for 99 years, we believe our democracy is strongest when every voice is heard and are glad to be one of over 2,000 partnering organizations with National Voter Registration Day."
Among many helpful and important topics and resources, the League will address the deadline of Friday, November 2 for the receipt of absentee ballots at the Board of Elections, ahead of the actual date of the November 6 General Election. Many assume applying for an absentee ballot up to the deadline of October 30 allows ample time to mail it to the Board of Elections and be counted when, in fact, several thousand absentee ballots in Pennsylvania are rejected for the reason of missing the deadline.
The League of Women Voters of Bucks County is a nonpartisan, political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government through public programs such as Preparing for the November Election and with information about candidate forums and more that it updates on its web site http://www.lwvbucks.org and shares on facebook.com/LWVBucksCounty. For additional information, call 215-230-9986 or email the League at firstname.lastname@example.org
Forty- five applicants in total took the oath of citizenship at Pennsbury Manor with the Honorable Cynthia M. Rufe of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania presiding. Volunteers from the League of Women Voters of Bucks County were in attendance and assisted many of the new citizens with their first act of citizenship following the ceremony; registering to vote.
Douglas A. Miller, Historic Site Administrator for Pennsbury Manor of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, welcomed the applicants for naturalization and their guests. Miller noted the relevance of hosting the naturalization at the home of William Penn, who established the colony in 1681 and whose legacy includes recruiting people to the colony from outside his native England, thus increasing diversity in Pennsylvania. Inspired by Quaker principles, Penn believed in and wanted his colony to foster social equality. Miller recounted that Penn realized, as his colony grew, that the best way for his colony to reflect his vision of the critical role of consent and participation of the governed was to allow the common man the right to vote. The colony was governed under the Charter of Privileges that Penn drafted in 1701, reflecting the belief that all humans were equal at birth. The Charter functioned as the Pennsylvania's Constitution until the American Revolution.
Judge Rufe, as well as other invited guests, shared their family's immigrant stories and warmly welcomed the new citizens. Following the administration of the oath, new citizen Guy DeBruyn, formerly of South Africa, was invited to speak on behalf of the new citizens. DeBruyn recounted how transformational it was to come to the country as a child of twelve, leaving a state-controlled media and system of apartheid behind. Enjoying the experiences of freedom since then, DeBruyn believed the logical progression was to embrace the responsibilities of citizenship and be naturalized.
Although July 30th is the three hundredth anniversary of the passing of William Penn, his ideals were alive and reflected as this diverse group of citizens were welcomed and as so many of them enthusiastically embraced their right to vote by registering following the ceremony. The League of Women Voters of Bucks County encourages all to check the status of their registration at http://www.VotesPa.com and to visit http://www.Vote411.org to learn about candidates' positions on issues prior to voting. The last day to register or change registration prior to the November 6 general election is October 9th.
The League of Women Voters never supports or opposes candidates for office or political parties. Any use of the League of Women Voters' name in campaign advertising or literature has not been authorized by the League. Elections and voting are core concerns for the League of Women Voters. The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Membership in the League is open to men and women age sixteen and older. Call 215.230.9986 for membership information.
Upholding its long tradition, the League of Women Voters of Bucks County (LWVBC) has begun work on nonpartisan candidate forums ahead of the General Election on November 6. Six forums are currently planned in October for voters of Pennsylvania's 1st Congressional District, the 6th and 10th Pennsylvania State Senate Districts and the 143rd and 144th Pennsylvania House of Representatives Districts. Candidates running in those districts have received invitations and many have already committed to participate.
Judith Clarke, who recently stepped down after 15 years of coordinating candidate forums for LWVBC and who has moderated forums for 12 of those years, noted that "The League of Women Voters never supports nor opposes any candidate and insures that its' forums are conducted civilly. All candidates are given exactly the same questions and amount of time to present their positions on the issues so that voters are able to choose candidates they feel would best represent them." Trained League members living outside the legislative district in question moderate the League forums, adding another measure of impartiality. LWVBC member Connie Borichevsky, who has served as a moderator for more than fifteen years said, "Our candidate forums and debates are always nonpartisan. Questions are never given to candidates ahead of time and questions submitted by the audience are screened by League members for relevance, duplication and propriety." Other forum rules that encourage civility and nonpartisanship include requiring the audience to refrain from applause and outbursts and not allowing campaign or partisan material, posters, etc. to be displayed during the forum. Videotaping by the audience is not allowed, to reduce the risk of candidates' comments being taken out of context and misused.
Currently the LWVBC, one of more than 700 state and local leagues, is the second largest chapter in Pennsylvania. While working locally, the LWVBC is a chapter of the state and national League of Women Voters. Several members of the local League are headed to Chicago for the League of Women Voters' 53rd National Convention to be held June 28 to July 1. Men and women in Bucks County over the age of sixteen are welcome to join the League.
Please contact the League with any questions about this forum at (215) 230-9986 or email email@example.com.
"Our League members in Bucks County are some of the most dedicated and committed individuals I know," said League co-president Peggy Dator. "They give countless hours to serving Bucks County each year engaging in a myriad of tasks to help ensure that our community is healthy, vibrant and strong. Their work has led to freer and fairer elections as well as a deeper understanding of the issues that impact our community, Pennsylvania and the nation."
The League is full of wonderful volunteers; volunteers who dedicate themselves to monitoring our government and making sure Bucks County voters have access to as much information as possible. One such dedicated volunteer is Sandra Karlberg. She has helped with production of the Voters Guide since 2008, coordinating the many League volunteers who put countless hours into preparing Guides for the public prior to the primary and general elections. Information is requested of all candidates. Candidate submitted biographies and questionnaire answers must then be typed and assembled; the finished product posted two weeks before the election "Voter participation increases when information about candidates is readily available," said League co-president Jan Hendershot, "With the help of many volunteers like Sandra, we are able to continue this service for Bucks County voters."
As a powerful national network that includes more than 750 state and local chapters across 50 states, the League of Women Voters empowers people every day to tackle the most important issues facing our communities and to improve local, state and federal government. "We could not have the impact that we do at the local, state and national levels without the hard work of our volunteers. I am extremely grateful for the efforts of our dedicated local volunteers and would welcome other members of the community to join us," added co-president Peggy Dator.
Membership in the League is open anyone age 16 and older. For more information about the League (including how to join) and to view the Primary Election Voters Guide, visit http://www.lwvbucks.org. The League's next event will be held on Wednesday, May 2nd
A special thanks to the First National Bank & Trust Company of Newtown for again donating the printing costs for this publication.
There is also a local Bucks County group already formed. Follow their activities on their Facebook page