Election Day: Here’s where to vote and what those three questions actually mean
In case you have forgotten. Here’s a reminder for you: Today is Election Day.
Don’t panic, all is not lost. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. today in Pennsylvania and there are also three City Charter questions on the ballot. But we know what the real unofficial question of Election Day really is, do you know where your polling station is located?
Let’s start with where you actually vote. The easiest way to find your polling station is to do what you always do: Google it. Here’s the link, enter your address and it will magically point you in the direction of where you need to go to cast your ballot. You can also go here to check your voter registration. If you prefer your information delivered without a filter, visit this foul-mouthed link.
If you’re having issues with your voting experience, you can call the Committee of Seventy’s hotline at 1-855-SEVENTY (1-855-738-3689) from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. See something fishy going on at the polling station? PhillyMag recommends that you might want to call the District Attorney’s office about it.
Now, onto the more difficult things. Here are the three City Charter questions you’ll be asked to weigh in on today:
Question 1: Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to establish and define the functions of the Office of Sustainability, headed by a Director of Sustainability?
Basically, Mayor Nutter wants to cement the Office of Sustainability into the Home Rule Charter. He created the office in 2008 and, without this amendment, the future of the office is up in the air. As The Inquirer notes, “The office primarily has worked to bring to life the initiatives in Nutter’s environmental master plan, Greenworks Philadelphia. The plan covers a range of issues, from energy use in city buildings and managing storm water to planting trees and increasing recycling.”
Question 2: Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to transfer responsibility for managing and operating the City’s jails from the Department of Public Welfare and the Board of Trustees of Philadelphia Prisons to a new Department of Prisons and Board of Trustees?
Another amendment to the Home Rule Charter. From The Inquirer: “The move would elevate the prisons commissioner to the same level as the police and fire commissioners, and make permanent Nutter’s reentry program for ex-offenders, known as RISE – the Office of Reintegration Services.” The infrastructure is already in place, as the prisons have been operating independently for 26 years, and would come no cost to taxpayers.
Question 3: Should the City of Philadelphia borrow ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-SEVEN MILLION TWO HUNDRED NINETY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($137,295,000.00) to be spent for and toward capital purposes as follows: Transit; Streets and Sanitation; Municipal Buildings; Parks, Recreation and Museums; and Economic and Community Development?
Do you want the city to borrow this money to fund various capital projects? For a full breakout of what that might entail, hit up this story in PhillyMag, which reports that $14.7M is earmarked for Parks & Rec. to fund “capital improvements to Parks and Recreation trails, parks, pools, recreation centers, cultural facilities and infrastructure across City neighborhoods.”