Increase voter registration
The vote is the most valuable right we have in a democracy. It is the citizens’ voice. Everyone of voting age should be registered. We can all play a role. Keep an eye out to see if new neighbors move into your neighborhood. Welcome them to the neighborhood with voter registration forms and directions to the polling place.
Carla favors automatic registration, where
people can register the day of an election.
Improve the accuracy of the street lists.
Increase voter turnout
Many people fought and died for the right to vote in this country. We are approaching the 100th anniversary of women being granted the right to vote in America. In the largest democracy in the world, we take this right for granted and too many people don’t utilize it. It is a travesty when a minority are electing our leaders. Elections have consequences. In the 2016 Presidential election, nationally Did Not Vote won—over 100,000,000 people. This was almost 40,000,000 more votes than Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton each received. In Philadelphia alone, if 26 more Democrats had voted in each division, Clinton would have won Pennsylvania. Did Not Vote doesn’t appoint Supreme Court justices to lifetime appointments or ensure educational opportunities or our health care.
Yet, apathy or dislike of candidates aren’t the only reasons people don’t vote. For some people, their work schedules make it difficult for them to find a time to vote. Many states have early voting. In Pennsylvania we don’t. Voting by absentee ballot is a multi-step process with a small window to return the ballots—especially if one is overseas. The City Commissioner’s Office received 1,000 absentee ballots after the Nov. 2 deadline for the Nov. 6, 2018 election.
Carla supports early voting and making Election Day a holiday to enable more people to vote.
There are many offices on the May 21 ballot that voters don’t understand the role, so vote blindly. Faced with a list of names, they may select the first ones they see.
Carla would engage and educate voters about the responsibilities of different offices.
Elections should be open and transparent.
New voting machines
The City Commissioners Office will be spending more than $40 million on new voting machines with little public input. And decided before potentially new City Commissioners take office. The Verified Voting Foundation and election security experts recommend Hand Marked Ballots with Optical Scanner “as the best primary method for recording votes in a public election.” More people will be able to vote at the same time because they will be filling out ballots with a writing implement in small private booths (that take less room than machines). Then, the ballot will be scanned and tabulated. They will cost an estimated $10-$16 million less than machines. They are easy to use for those with special needs. If there is a power outage, people can still cast their votes.
Carla supports any method that is secure and user friendly for the electorate, especially the elderly and those with disabilities. Many are hesitant to use and are distrustful of computers and technology. Voters should receive a receipt, so “we have verification that we voted.” There should be focus groups, where the public could sample different options. Again, this would engage the voters in the process. She also feels there should be a moratorium on the decision until after the City Commissioners election.