Art Haywood

Art Haywood

State Sens. Vincent Hughes, Sharif Street, Larry Farnese and Anthony Williams joined Sen. Art Haywood for a telephone town hall meeting last week to address the option of voting by mail for the June 2 primary during the COVID-19 crisis.

The five Pennsylvania senators joined to emphasize the importance of voting, explain the process for voting by mail, and answer constituent questions.

“It’s really important to understand how to vote by mail,” Street said. “It’s a safe and reliable way to vote and you don’t have to worry about COVID-19 infections.”

The theme was the safety and security of voting by mail. Guests included U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans and Montgomery County Commissioner Kenneth Lawrence Jr.

“I’m glad to be a part of this call and give a federal perspective,” Evans said.

The congressman suggested that if constituents want to beat the problems that they’re facing then they need to vote. “Where does it start?” Evans asked the callers. “Right here in Pennsylvania.”

The deadline to return an absentee or mail-in ballot is 8 p.m. June 2. The deadline to apply for a ballot was May 26.

“[Come] June 2 we will still be on a stay-at-home order,” Lawrence said.

Montgomery County mailed out 113,000 ballots and more than 2,000 applications were still being processed, Lawrence said.

“Voting by mail is the best and safest way to vote,” he said.

Most callers were concerned about how to gain access to the internet for seniors, what happens to applications and absentee ballots once they’re received, the mobilization of sound cars, and drop-off spots, many specific to Montgomery County.

“Getting folks registered to vote and registered to vote by mail will take a community effort,” Haywood said during the call. “It is more than what state senators can do alone.”

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