The deadline to register to vote in next month’s general election has passed, but folks who already are registered can still apply for absentee ballots.
Absentee ballot applications must be received by the Philadelphia City Commissioner’s Office by Oct. 30, said Seth Bluestein, deputy to Commissioner Al Schmidt.
Bluestein was a guest speaker at the monthly Somerton Civic Association meeting on Oct. 9. He offered several other bits of advice to prospective voters.
Those who want to find out if they are registered may do so by visiting the Web site www.pavotes.com or by calling the commissioner’s office. Schmidt’s number is 215-686-3464. All mailings may be sent to City Hall, Room 134, Philadelphia, PA 19107.
Folks who want to find out where their polling places are may contact the commissioner or visit the Web site phillyelection.com. The site also has language interpretation services, election dates, accessibility information, provisional ballots and poll worker information, among other features.
Bluestein further recommended that voters make sure to obtain a state-issued ID card even though the Pennsylvania courts have temporarily suspended the state’s new voter ID law. The law may still be placed into effect for future elections.
Voters who believe that their rights have been violated or threatened by intimidation or other illegal activity may report incidents to the commissioner’s office at 215-686-3464, the district attorney’s office at 215-686-8700 or the police department via 911. Voters may also contact the non-partisan election watchdog group Committee of Seventy’s hot line at 866-OUR-VOTE.
In unrelated Somerton business:
• Mike McAleer, an aide to state Sen. Mike Stack, reported that construction on new features in Benjamin Rush State Park is scheduled to begin next month and continue through next August.
• State Rep. Brendan Boyle invited citizens to attend a House Policy Committee hearing on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 9 a.m., at MaST Charter School, where Pennsylvania’s parole board practices will be discussed. The hearing follows recent instances of violence against Philadelphia police officers by paroled convicts. MaST Charter School is at 1800 Byberry Road.
• City Councilman Brian O’Neill reported that the installation of new playground equipment at Boyle Recreation Center will be complete by the end of November. Also, the Streets Department’s recycling office will hold a recycling information event on Saturday, Nov. 17, from 9 to 11:30 a.m., at Bustleton Avenue and Bowler Street. Visitors will be able to get new recycling bins there, along with information about the Recycling Rewards program.• The next Somerton Civic Association meeting will be on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m., at Walker Lodge 306, 1290 Southampton Road. ••EndFragment