Making Democracy Work

News and Information

Recent News and Information

Governor's Redistricting Reform Commission

On November 29, Governor Tom Wolf signed an executive order establishing a redistricting reform commission to examine ways to improve the state's redistricting process. David Thornburgh, Executive Director of the Committee of Seventy, was named chair of the commission, and Susan Carty, President of the League of Women Voters of PA, will also serve on the commission. The commission will be comprised of members from diverse backgrounds, including current and former legislators, leaders from nonpartisan civic organizations, and members of the administration.

"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.

Voter Participation November 2018

The strong voter participation during the 2018 general election in Bucks County and our surrounding community gives everyone reason to be proud. More than 40 volunteers from the League of Women Voters of Bucks County participated in 22 voter registration events held leading up to the November 6 Election. Venues included schools, libraries, Farmers Markets, and naturalization ceremonies. Citizens were helped with registering to vote and preparing absentee ballot applications, questions were answered, and applications were provided for those who preferred to apply on their own. League members from our Speaker's Bureau also provided educational programs about voting at several libraries.

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.

Peggy Dator

Jan Hendershot

Co-Presidents

League of Women Voters of Bucks County

1st Congressional Candidates Forum

Scarecrow Competition

Vote for the League in the 2018 Scarecrow Competition at Peddler's Village in Lahaska! Please visit and encourage others to visit Peddler's Village before Monday, October 8 and cast your vote for our entry in this year's scarecrow contest. We hope for many people to learn about our League through our participation and, hopefully publicity upon winning! Our entry is #13 in the Group category. She is a superhero scarecrow, encouraging visitors to "Be a Super Citizen - Vote!". The rules for voting are: Limit one ballot per person Ballots are not complete without your name, address and email address. No ballots are accepted by mail. Ballots can be picked up in any store or restaurant. Our entry is right by Shop #62, The Jewelry Nest Boutique. Completed ballots should be returned to an official Ballot Box, located at Buttonwood Grill, Earl's New American, Giggleberry Fair and the Hospitality Center at the Cock `n Bull.

Voter Registration Deadline is October 9

League of Women Voters of Bucks County to host National Voter Registration Day Events September 25, 2018

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."

Preparing for the November Election

(Doylestown, PA) Join members of the League of Women Voters of Bucks County at 6:30 PM Tuesday, September 25 at the Warminster Township Free Library for a free public presentation by the League on Preparing for the November Election, followed by a Q and A opportunity. The League members will explain what you need to know in order to be an informed, confident voter in November. The presentation will include an explanation of your voting rights and provide you with resources to help you learn about the candidates and issues. Participants will have the opportunity to register to vote, check their registration or apply for an absentee ballot if needed. The Library is located at 1076 Emma Lane in Warminster. The public is invited to drop by the library to register to vote between 5-7:30 PM even if unable to sit in for the presentation.

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 lwvbuckspa@gmail.com

Pennsbury Naturalization July 2018

New Citizens Embrace Rights and Responsibilities Immigrant Stories and William Penn's Ideals Inspire (Doylestown, PA) Applicants from Algeria, France, Thailand and twenty-eight other countries gathered at the estate of William Penn in Morrisville for a naturalization ceremony on Friday, July 27th.

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.

General Election Candidate Forums Planned for Public Benefit

Local League Organizing and Moderating Six Forums in October.

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.

Bucks County 178th Legislative District

A special election to choose a new state representative for Bucks County's 178th Legislative District will be held May 15th, the same day as the primary election. Voters in the municipalities of Northampton, New Hope, Upper Makefield, Wrightstown and Solebury will decide who will finish out former state Rep. Scott Petri's remaining term for the rest of the year. All registered voters in 178th Legislative District, including those unaffiliated with a party, are eligible to vote in this special election on May 15, 2018. Helen Tai (D) and Wendi Thomas (R) will participate in a nonpartisan candidates' forum moderated by the League of Women Voters of Bucks County on Wednesday, May 2 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM at the Anchor Presbyterian Church, 980 Durham Road (Rt. 413) in Wrightstown. The audience will have an opportunity to submit questions for the candidates. These candidates will also appear on the ballots of voters in the 178th District as Primary Election candidates running for the opportunity to compete in November to fill the 2019-2020 Legislative term. Voters who, because of health or travel, can not get to the polls on May 15 may request an absentee ballot before May 8. An absentee ballot application can be requested by calling the Board of Elections (215-348-6154) or visiting Votes PA Ballots must be returned to the Bucks County courthouse by 5 PM on May11. Postmarks do not apply. If hand delivering, only the actual voter may return their ballot.

Please contact the League with any questions about this forum at (215) 230-9986 or email lwvbuckspa@gmail.com.

Candidate Forums at Bucks County Community College

For details on the Congressional debates please see The BCCC News Release

You can find coverage and watch the debate scheduled for tomorrow at 12:15 pm On Facebook from WBCB, on the WBCBNews website, and at Bucks County Courier Times

Board of Elections Unanimously Relocates Three Voting Districts in Advance of May 15, 2018 General Primary

The Bucks County Board of Elections met and reorganized on Tuesday, April 10 in the Commissioners' Meeting Room of the Administration Building. The 2018 Board of Elections will consist of Commissioner Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW (who remained Chair), Commissioner Charles H. Martin (Vice Chair) and Commissioner Robert G. Loughery. During the meeting, the Board unanimously approved three permanent polling place relocations. See the Board Elections website

LWV of Bucks County Volunteers shine during national volunteer week

This week, the League of Women Voters of Bucks County is saluting its members and supporters as part of National Volunteer Week, an annual celebration to honor individuals who dedicate themselves to taking action on a variety of issues in their communities.

"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

Get Out The Vote (GOTV) 2018 Tool Kits

The Bucks County League of Women Voters is a member of a coalition of Bucks County Organizations working to assist organizations in providing their constituencies with the information to become registered and informed voters.

Two new 2018 toolkits have been developed - one for non-profits and another for schools.

2018 Legislative Guide is Available

The League of Women Voters of Bucks County's 2018 Legislative Guide is now available via download, at various libraries and at our various events.

A special thanks to the First National Bank & Trust Company of Newtown for again donating the printing costs for this publication.

Fair Districts PA

The PALWV has initiated a project with other organizations to promote the passing of legislation to reduce gerrymandering in the drawing of Pennsylvania legislative and congressional districts. Please consider getting involved.

Information can be found on their website and their Facebook page.

There is also a local Bucks County group already formed. Follow their activities on their Facebook page