Civic Duty

Area recognizes National Voter Registration Day

Photo submitted to Times Observer Former League of Women Voters Registration Service Chairman Jane Dunshie works with Warren County Voter Registrar Lisa Rivett during a voter registration event.

Election Day is Nov. 3.

National Voter Registration Day is today.

To make sure everyone who wants to vote is able to, the League of Women Voters of Warren County is joining National Voter Registration Day efforts across the country.

Anyone who is at least 18 years old on Nov. 3 this year is eligible to vote in the general election.

“The League of Women Voters of Warren County reminds citizens that voting is a right and privilege,” Phyllis Wright said. “If you do not express your choice for a candidate by voting, then others voting will make a choice for you.”

Photo submitted to Times Observer

“Founded in 2012, National Voter Registration Day is designed to create an annual moment when the entire nation focuses on registering Americans to exercise their most basic right — the right to vote,” Wright said. “Nearly 3 million Americans have registered to vote on the holiday since the inaugural National Voter Registration Day in 2012.”

“On Sept. 22, 2020, Americans will celebrate National Voter Registration Day with a massive cross-country effort to register voters well in advance of Election Day this Nov. 3,” she said. “With a historic presidential election approaching, every eligible American voter should exercise his or her right to be heard at the ballot box, and National Voter Registration Day is the right day to start by getting registered.”

“The League of Women Voters of Warren County encourage citizens who are not registered to contact Director of Elections and Voter Registrar Lisa Rivett for an application to register,” Wright said.

Rivett can be reached at the courthouse, 204 Fourth Ave., Warren, by phone at 728-3406, or email to lzuck@warren-county.net.

Downloadable application forms are available by visiting warrencopa.com, pavoterservices.pa.gov, or vote411.org.

The sites also have information for first-time voters. Wright said vote411 also has some information about most state and federal candidates and some local candidates.

“The last day to register is Oct. 19,” Rivett said.

Registration applications must be in Rivett’s office by Monday, Oct. 19. A postmark of Oct. 19 or before is not sufficient, she said. “As soon as I get the applications, I process them and send them a new voter registration card.”

Once a citizen is registered, there are some more deadlines, depending on how that voters wants to cast their ballot.

Applications for mail-in or absentee ballots, can be found at the websites listed above.

The deadline to return a mail-in or absentee ballot application to Rivett’s office – postmarks are not acceptable in this case, either – is Tuesday, Oct. 27.

Rivett cautioned that returning an application on Oct. 27 would not provide a voter much turn-around time to complete the ballot and get it back to her by Election Day.

Wright said the League is advising voters to have their votes in the mail at least a week in advance.

There is a little lee-way this year. “There is a new state supreme court ruling,” Rivett said. “The court has ruled that there will be a three-day extension of the absentee and mail-in ballot receive-by deadline to allow for the tabulation of ballots mailed by voters via the USPS and postmarked by 8 p.m. on Election Day.”

Ballots returned by mail must be returned in the proper form — inside the secrecy envelope which must be contained in the outer pre-addressed enveloped. The voter declaration on the outer envelope must be completed and signed.

“The court ruled that a mail-in or absentee ballot that is not enclosed in the secrecy envelope will not be counted,” Rivett said.

The ballots Rivett will send out this year will include postage-paid outer envelopes.

“The state is reimbursing the counties for that,” she said.

Absentee and mail-in ballots may be returned by hand to Rivett’s office. Those ballots must be handed to someone in the office and only the ballots of the people who physically return them will be accepted. A voter may return her mail-in ballot in person, but may not return anyone else’s, even someone who lives in the same household, Rivett said.

There is no drop-box at the courthouse.

Ballots brought in by hand are not subject to the Supreme Court extension and must be returned and accepted by 8 p.m. on Election Day.


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