With standing room only at the May 11th Secure, Protect, Expand the Vote event at the Haverford Library, members of the community came out to learn more about the process underway in Pennsylvania to obtain new voting machines (and what options are most affordable as well as secure).
Kadida Kenner of We the People PA and Rachel Murphy of March on Harrisburg also took part in a fruitful conversation led by Jenn Hallam of H-CAN on expanding voting rights and what actions can be taken to protect our Democracy.
During the event, audience members took part in an action to complete a postcard that will be mailed to local officials urging them to select hand-marked paper ballots counted by optical scanners as they are more secure and cost less as the new voting machines that Delaware County will be purchasing soon (the projected timeline for rolling out the new voting machines is the presidential 2020 primary next May).
With voting being the cornerstone of our democracy, attendees joined Indivisible groups in PA-05 to become more informed about current threats to election security and voting rights. Attendees also learned how representatives at state and local levels are responding as well as how they can be prepared to take action to help protect and expand voting rights.
Calls to Action:
Urge Delco to adopt the most secure voting method. Election integrity experts agree that hand-marked paper ballots, scanned by optical scanners, backed by post-election audits is the best system to guarantee elections are secure, accurate, and verifiable. This is the recommendation of Citizens for Better Elections, and it will be a matter of importance as the Delaware County Election Board decides on which system to adopt – a decision that may be in force as early as the 2020 primaries and will determine the system used for the next 10-15 years.
Attend the Voting System Expo and show preference for hand-marked paper ballots: June 6, 4:00-6:00 pm; Aston Township Community Center, 3270 Concord Road, Aston, PA 19014.
Write the three Election Board members: Mr. Carmen Belefonte (Chairman), Mr. Gerald Lawrence, Mr. Joseph Possenti (Delaware County Bureau of Elections, Government Center Bldg, 201 W. Front Street, Media, PA 19063): “Dear _____________, Hand-marked paper ballots counted by optical scanners are the systems recommended by election and security experts. They are more secure and cost less. One ballot-marking device per precinct will make the system universally accessible. Please spend our taxpayer dollars wisely. Sincerely, ___________ (your name), _________ (zip code).”
Write (as above) to the three Republican members of the Delaware County Council: Mr. John McBlain (Chair), Ms. Colleen Morrone (Vice Chair), Mr. Michael Culp (Delaware County Council, Government Center Bldg, 201 W. Front St, Media, PA 19063).
Kevin Skoglund of Citizens for Better Elections, who addressed the need to ensure accurate, verifiable and secure elections
Kadida Kenner of We the People PA (a non-partisan campaign to change the direction of PA politics), who addressed the group's push for legislation to expand voting rights
Rachel Murphy of March on Harrisburg (a democracy movement focused on passing pro-democracy, anti-corruption laws at the state level), who also shared this group's legislative agenda related to voting rights
The Justice Seekers performed during the action portion of the event as well as at the end. Their uplifting music and positive attitude helped soothe some of the activism fatigue discussed during the event.
The Secure, Protect, Expand the Vote Event was hosted by:
Bowling Green Patriots, Delco PA Indivisible, H-CAN Indivisible, Indivisible Lower Merion, Indivisible Main Line South, Indivisible Narberth & Beyond, Indivisible Swarthmore: Moving the Needle, Indivisible Upper Darby & Let People Vote SEPA
View a gallery of photos from the event below: