Finding out how to register to vote, obtaining an absentee ballot - especially an emergency ballot, and learning how to run for office sends users through many confounding links and sometimes to incorrect pages. I want to make finding information on how to vote, how to register to vote, and how to run for office accessible and understandable to every potential voter in the city by simple, yet necessary updates to the city commissioners' web presence.
Like communication, education is paramount to improving voter services and confidence in the system. As commissioner, I would start publishing a voter guide, similar to the California system, so that voters get a non-partisan look at the election. Online first, it can be translated into the many languages of Philadelphian voters. Eventually, we can print and deliver it to registered voters.
Making sure every eligible voter knows how to register and change registration is a cornerstone of the city commission. The more voters voting in every election ensures that we have the most representative government, at the city, state and federal level.
Voter turnout, especially in primaries where a majority Democratic city like Philadelphia chooses its local leaders, is an essential part of our representative Democracy. I want to make voting twice a year, every year something that a majority of eligible Philadelphians want to, and can, do.
Pennsylvania has one of the most restrictive absentee ballots processes in the country. While the city commissioner cannot change state laws, I do want to make the process easier to access and understand. Simple updates to the website, and greater education especially to populations that need absentee ballots the most, would assist in greater use of the system.
Judges of elections have reported that their trainings are short and not comprehensive, never learning about provisional ballots or knowing how to troubleshoot on the scene. I will begin a comprehensive update to the training process to make sure everyone working elections is comfortable with the new technology, and diversity training so that all voters regardless of race, religion, gender identity and sexual orientation are welcomed in their division. I will make sure we run a smooth Election Day operation, ensuring that every vote cast in Philadelphia is counted.
When I decided to run, one main issue was to replace Philadelphia’s outdated voting machines, confusing, and without a paper trail. However the city commissioners just selected new machines. I am unhappy with the lack of transparency in the process, and as city commissioner would make sure the public is more informed before spending millions of dollars. Regardless, as commissioner I will work hard to educate the voters on the new system so that we go into 2020 with confidence that every vote counts.