Many students on Lehigh’s campus have been approached in the past few weeks about registering to vote in Pennsylvania.
The last day to register to vote in Pennsylvania was Oct. 24. Now, Pennsylvanians, including Lehigh students, will focus on where, how and who to vote for.
If voting in person, students can check voting locations at pavoterservices.pa.gov. After selecting the location, voters will find their voter registration by name and the form will ask for a county and zip code. Lehigh is in Northampton county with the zip code 18015.
For those registered to vote in Pennsylvania, the bottom of the form lists “YOUR ELECTION DAY POLLING PLACE” with the assigned address for voting on Nov. 8. The location will be either the Banana Factory, Broughal Middle School or St. John’s Church.
For those deciding to send in a mail-in ballot, it is necessary to follow these essential steps:
- Request a mail-in ballot by Nov. 1.
- Carefully mark your ballot, completing the front and back of each page. Make sure the ballot is dated, otherwise it will not count.
- Seal your completed ballot in the inner secrecy envelope that indicates “official election ballot” and be sure not to make any marks on the inner secrecy envelope. Your ballot must be enclosed and sealed in the inner secrecy envelope to be counted.
- Seal the inner secrecy envelope in the pre-addressed outer return envelope.
- Complete the voter’s declaration on the outside of the outer return envelope, otherwise it will not count.
- Mail in your ballot before election day. If the ballot is not received by 8 p.m. on election day, it will not count.
In the upcoming election, voters will choose a new governor, senator, a Congressperson and members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
The Brown and White has compiled a guide of who will be on the ballot and their stances on key issues.
Pennsylvania US Senator:
John Fetterman (D):
- Will vote to “enshrine access to safe and legal abortion into federal law by passing the Women’s Health Protection Act”
- Advocates for universal background checks, red flag laws and “more proactive measures” to eliminate illegal guns
- Worked closely with police to develop a community policy focused on reducing gun deaths and homicides as Mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania
- Emphasizes transitioning to clean energy by creating more jobs in the industry
- Has made conflicting statements regarding his stance on fracking. Most recently, in his Oct. 25 debate with Republican candidate Mehmet Oz, Fetterman said he has “always supported fracking.”
- Will vote to pass the Equality Act, which would ensure civil rights laws protecting against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity
- Plans to support efforts against conversion therapy and strengthen anti-harrassment policies in schools
- Wants to increase American manufacturing to fight inflation and lower costs
- Wants to decrease “out of pocket” health care costs, put a cap on prescription drug costs and prosecute large corporations that drive up prices
Mehmet Oz (R):
- Is “100% pro life,” but supports exceptions in cases of rape, incest or if the life of the mother is at risk
- In the Oct. 25 debate, Oz said the federal government should not be involved in the decision and “women, doctors and local political leaders” should be involved in abortion decisions
- Is a “firm believer in the Second Amendment and our constitutional right to bear arms for protection”
- Opposes anti-gun measures, such as red flag laws
- Oz has also made contradicting statements regarding fracking, but most recently has said he supports the practice in the state of Pennsylvania
- Signed a letter indicating his support for the Respect for Marriage Act, which would codify same-sex marriage at the federal level
- Does not support transgender women playing women’s sports
- Wants to focus on creating jobs domestically, rebuilding the supply chain and ending reliance on China for infrastructure
Josh Shapiro (D):
- Plans to veto any bill that would restrict abortion rights in the state and wants to expand access to reproductive care
- Released a statement after the overturning of Roe v. Wade, calling the Dobbs decision “shameful” and “(standing) firm in protecting a woman’s right to choose”
- Wants to continue cracking down on illegal gun trafficking and close the ghost gun loophole
- Wants to promote solar projects and increase access to renewable energy sources
- Emphasizes protecting jobs while simultaneously protecting the planet
- Plans to expand Pennsylvania’s hate crime laws to cover LGBTQIA+ communities, invest in mental health resources for LGBTQIA+ youth and ban conversion therapy for minors
- Has a three point plan to support Pennsylvanians with rising prices:
- Plans to issue gas tax refunds of $250 for every personal passenger registered in PA, up to four per household (or $1,000)
- Plans to eliminate the sales tax on cell phone service
- Intends to expand the property tax and rent rebate program, increasing the maximum rebate to $1,000, making the program available to 275,000 more eligible people
Doug Mastriano (R):
- Said he will sign the Heartbeat Protection Act of 2021
- Vowed to end funding to Planned Parenthood and expand counseling for adoption services
- Plans to make Pennsylvania a constitutional carry state
- Plans to pull Pennsylvania out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
- Plans to invest in natural gas and coal industries and will lift Wolf’s current regulations, taxes and fees on these industries
- Plans to “place an immediate ban on biological males in girls’ locker rooms and restrooms” and ban “biological males from competing in girls’ sports”
- Has previously voted on House Bill 508 to ban instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation in early elementary classrooms
- Plans to establish a “Property Tax Elimination Taskforce” to “find a way to get this burden off of hardworking Pennsylvania homeowners”
- Wants to cut gas taxes and lower the corporate net income tax rate to attract business to the commonwealth
Pennsylvania US Representative District 7:
House of Representatives
Susan Wild (D):
- Voted for the Women’s Health Protection act in 2021, which sought to codify the right to abortion
Gun use regulation:
- Voted to pass H.R. 7910, the “Protecting Our Kids Act” that aims to raise the purchasing age for certain semi-automatic weapons to 21, crack down on gun trafficking and illegal guns, close the ghost gun loophole, strengthen safe storage requirements and outlaw high-capacity machine guns
- Voted for the Inflation Reduction Act, a historic investment in clean energy that could dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years
- Helped pass the Climate Action Now Act in the House, which sought to realign the United States with its Paris Accord agreements
- Intends to vote for protection for national resources, national parks and lands from offshore drilling
- Cosponsored the PFAS Action Act, which sought to enact federal limits on PFA discharge in water sources and establish a national drinking water standard
- Cosponsor of the Equality Act, which has been passed in the House
- Wants to create more domestic manufacturing jobs
- Sponsored the “Supply Chain Security and Resilience Act,” which sought to strengthen supply chains by establishing federal-level best practices for manufacturers
- Plans to increase access to trade schools and apprenticeship programs
Lisa Scheller (R):
- Supports regulations for abortions such as parental notifications for the parents of minors seeking abortions, a ban on late term abortions and prohibitions on taxpayer funding for abortions
Gun use regulation:
- A “strong supporter” of the Second Amendment and “opposes efforts that would infringe on (the rights delineated by the amendment)”
- Believes the issue is finding ways to keep violent criminals from having guns while not restricting law-abiding citizens from the same access
- Believes the country is not ready to be reliant on renewables yet and is too reliant on other countries for energy
- Emphasized domestic energy production using solar, wind, natural gas and oil
- Said she would not be opposed to supporting a bill that (codifies) same-sex marriage and that “we should not be discriminating against anybody”
- Pledged to cut taxes, reign in government spending and expand the economy