Candidates running for the more than 300 races in Bucks County on the May 18th Municipal Primary Election ballot can expect to be contacted in April by e-mail with instructions on participating in the LWVBC online voters’ guide on Vote411.org.
Vote411.org is a one-stop-shop for voter information, managed by the League of Women Voters and now in its 14th year of operation. The League of Women Voters of Bucks County uses this website to provide their online voters’ guide before each election. Volunteers from LWVBC will gather the candidates’ e-mail addresses from their filing petitions, and candidates will receive an e-mail invitation from Vote411.org, along with a unique link for each candidate.
Candidates use their unique link to upload answers to basic biographical questions and several questions drafted by LWVBC for all candidates running for that office. This nonpartisan service allows voters to make a side-by-side comparison of candidates, be an informed voter, print out a list of candidates to take along to the polls, and much more well ahead of setting off for the polling location.
Municipal elections have significant consequences for communities. On May 18th, you can give your voice to who you would like to represent you at the government’s local level. These are the people who decide on our taxes, how our schools are run, or rule on important family, civil and criminal matters in our courts. Elections will be held for county row offices, judges for the Superior and Commonwealth Courts, the Court of Common Pleas and Magisterial Districts, many borough councils and township supervisors, along with school board directors.
Decisions about who to vote for in this Municipal Primary carry a great deal of weight because the closed primary system in Pennsylvania restricts who votes for candidates on the ballot to those registered in that candidate’s party. Typically, fewer than 15% of eligible voters will vote in the municipal primaries, leaving many races decided by a very slim number of votes. Cross-filing for school board and judicial candidates can conceivably have races decided at the point of the primary election, making voter participation in the Municipal Primary that much more important.
There are three constitutional amendments on the May 18th ballot, and all registered voters, including unaffiliated and third-party voters, can vote on these questions. Learn more about the proposed amendments at https://ballotpedia.org/2021_ballot_measures.
Register or check and update your voter registration at the official Pennsylvania government website, VotesPA.com. The last day to register to vote or make changes in your registration ahead of the Municipal Primary Election is May 3rd. The last day to request a mail ballot is May 11th. You are strongly encouraged not to wait until deadlines. Visit lwvbucks.org for more information on LWVBC. Candidates are encouraged to reach the LWVBC with any questions they have about their voters’ guide by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.