Special Election In Bensalem To Go On In Spite Of COVID-19 Fears
By Alex Lloyd Gross
A special election will be held tomorrow March 17 2020. This is a race for the State House of Representatives. Harold Hayes and KC Tomlinson both want the job. The problem is, this election is being held in the start of a pandemic that has caused school and businesses to close. Governor Wold wants to postpone this election. A good number of voters in the township want to postpone the election.. Speaker of the house Mike Turzai does not.
As of 1:00 PM March 16, 2020 Turzai has basically said the election will go on. Poll workers that work these polls are at risk as are voters who may interact with people waiting to vote. Fear is going to keep voter turnout low. Those that do show up will be keeping their distance and many will bring their own blue pen.
The reality is that quite possibly nothing will happen. That is what everyone is hoping for. When the governor closed dine in service at restaurants, he did not do that on a whim. He did that to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19. By opening the schools for one day,( remember a lot of voting takes place in schools) this brings elderly and vulnerable people into possible contact with a carrier. Other polling places may include firehouses or other government offices. This is exactly what the CDC is trying to avoid. It is unknown if theses places will undergo a deep cleaning before the election and after poll workers leave the building.
The other, part of this story that few people are taking about, if Turzai insists on this election being held tomorrow, and people are too scared to come out, that is driving away voters. The loser in this election could very well contest the validity of this election in courts. DVN reached out to both Hayes and Tomlinson’s camps and got no response . When we called Turzai’s office at 11:20 AM we were informed that the speaker is being briefed on this issue. We were told that other lawmakers were trying to get him to change the date. Turzai has not returned a phone call either.
His office said they have gotten over 60 telephone calls regarding this issue. The majority of people want it postponed, the receptionist said.
There are quite a few people that have the exact opposite opinion, and feel this election should and must go on tomorrow. They feel there is no danger and as long as people practice social distancing and proper hygiene. New voting booths limit the need to push buttons. Either way, unless every registered voter shows up to cast a vote, the fact that people were threatened by the possibility of getting sick could be enough to have the loser challenge the results.
The victory parties of both candidates should be small and quick, to conform to the governors order .