Harrisburg, PA — No matter what we look like or where we live, most of us believe that everyone counts, that each of us contributes to the fabric of our communities and our country. In this election, we are relying on each other to make sure every vote is counted. But around PA, recent acts of voter suppression reveal that President Trump and his enablers want to deter us from having our voices heard.
This month, Dauphin County officials removed the ballot dropoff box at the County Election Office in Harrisburg, eliminating a quick, safe, and trustworthy option to vote early. At a facility that primarily serves people of color, voters must now pass security to drop off their ballot with personnel inside the office leading to unnecessary wait times and added surveillance. Meanwhile, the Northern Dauphin Human Services Office ballot drop-off location, which serves a mostly white community, is operating without security. This follows news from community members that a sheriff has stationed himself inside the election office guarding a ballot drop box in Cumberland County.
Said Onah Ossai from Capital Region Stands Up, “This year has tested us like no other — our health, our livelihoods, and our humanity. Through it all, we’ve counted on one another to care for our loved ones, make ends meet, and make a better future. Now, it’s up to us to make sure everyone’s vote gets counted. Requiring voters to wait in long lines and pass through a security checkpoint to vote is voter suppression. And it's clear that these voter suppression measures are targeting voters of color.”
"Voting by mail is a safe, secure process that will relieve pressure on poll workers on Election Day. ACT 77 made it easier for PA residents to vote by mail, and the COVID-19 crisis means residents of Dauphin County are applying for mail-in ballots in record numbers."
"Whether we vote by mail, vote early, or or vote on election day, local and state officials must ensure everyone’s vote is counted. We are calling on the Dauphin County Commissioners and Director of Elections to immediately put a ballot dropbox outside of the security checkpoint at the 2 South 2nd St. location in Harrisburg.”
For more information, or to interview Onah Ossai, contact us here.