Germantown residents learned how to use new voting machines during the Men Who Care Block Party last year| Maleka Fruean for Germantown Info Hub

This Monday, May 18th, is the final day to register to vote in the upcoming primary election. The primary will be held on Tuesday, June 2nd.

Philadelphia residents can register to vote and check their registration status online at VOTESPA. Complete a registration form using a computer, tablet, or smartphone. You can also download the form, complete it and mail it to: Philadelphia Voter Registration Office,520 N. Columbus Blvd, 5th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19123

After the application is approved, you will receive a registration card in the mail within 14 days.

Registered voters can vote in the June 2nd primary by mail or by visiting selected polling places. However, due to the COVID-19 emergency the number of in-person polling places across the city has been drastically reduced from over 800 to less than 200. The Inquirer reported that the number of polling places in June will be a “77% reduction” from last November. The report includes an interactive map to locate polling places by zone.

In a press release, Governor Tom Wolf stressed that during the pandemic, it is vital for citizens to participate in the upcoming election. He encouraged all voters to apply for a mail in ballot for the primary. “There is no more important civic duty than voting, but we also want to make sure that every primary voter can cast their vote safely,” said Wolf.

Why the primaries are important

The primary elections are not just about selecting a Democrat or Republican presidential candidate. The 2020 primary will include the Pennsylvania Attorney General, Auditor General, and Treasurer. You will also cast ballots for PA House of Representatives, the U.S. House of Representatives and some districts in the PA Senate. There are also ballot questions on amendments to the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter.

State Representative Rosita Youngblood is vacating the 198th district seat she held for 26 years. Youngblood represented East and Southeast Germantown, Nicetown, Sommerville, Logan, Tioga, Allegheny, Swampoodle, and East Falls.

Six candidates are running for the seat; Fareed AbdullahNikki BagbyMichael CogbillSupreme DowBernard Williams and Darisha Parker. While all six candidates are Democrats, only one will represent the party for the general election. Residents will select that candidate in the primary election.

More information?

At 5pm on Thursday, May 14, City Commissioner Omar Sabir will be a guest on the Germantown Info Hub Radio Hour on G-town Radio, 92.7 FM. Letrell Crittenden, co-researcher for the Info Hub, will speak with Sabir about voter registration and changes to the primary election due to the pandemic. Imam Hassan Abdi of Germantown Masjid will also join the program to discuss how the Muslim community is observing Ramadan with the restrictions imposed by COVID-19.

Join the live, call in program at 215–609–4301.