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We Will Be Ready
 

We Will Be Ready

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Letter from Philadelphia City Commissioners addressing concerns about backlog of 24,000 voter registration applications.

Letter from Philadelphia City Commissioners addressing concerns about backlog of 24,000 voter registration applications.

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    We Will Be Ready We Will Be Ready Document Transcript

    • Mr. Zack StalbergPresident and CEOCommittee of Seventy8 Penn Center1628 JFK BoulevardPhiladelphia, PA 19103 October 12, 2012Dear Mr. Stalberg,We thank you for sharing your concerns in your letter of October 11, 2012.Every eligible Philadelphian who submitted a valid, complete voter registration form by the deadline ofOctober 9, 2012, will be registered to vote and will be listed in the poll books on Election Day, November6, 2012. To each Philadelphian who submitted an incomplete or otherwise invalid voter registrationform, and whose registration form contained a valid postal address, we will send out a notice by UnitedStates Postal Service no later than Friday, October 26th.The Voter Registration Division of the City Commissioners makes every effort to help potential voterswhose applications are in some way defective, or who submit their registrations to the wrong county.Wherever possible, we go the extra mile to enfranchise eligible citizens as quickly as possible.Ultimately, however, the responsibility lies with the voter to provide a complete and valid voterregistration form to the correct county by the statutory deadline.As you noted, we currently have a backlog of application forms to be processed. Such a backlog is notunusual at the registration deadline, especially in a Presidential election year. We have a process forharnessing extra manpower in response to such backlogs. The timeline for implementation this year is asfollows: 1. As of September 4, 2012, we extended work hours for our employees to 7:30pm, adding 2.5 hours for each employee each day 2. As of September 9, 2012, we extended work hours for our employees to 10pm, adding another 2.5 hours for each employee each day 3. We are in the process of arranging for experienced employees from other City departments to supplement our data entry staff.While we appreciate your willingness (and ability!) to mobilize volunteers to help, it is not appropriate toentrust mission-critical work to volunteers. The process described above is neither new nor ad hoc. Wehave used it in past years to process similarly large backlogs with success. To get context for thebacklog, please compare this years numbers to the previous two Presidential election years:Year Total # of registration forms # registration forms submitted on last day2004 252K 21K2008 300K 33K2012 200K 24KThank you for the attention Committee of Seventy pays to elections in Philadelphia. We appreciate yourstaffs questions at meetings of the City Commissioners and the service you do for Philadelphians by
    • communicating the communitys concerns to us and accurate information from us out to thecommunity.Sincerely,Stephanie Singer, City Commissioner, ChairAnthony Clark, City CommissionerAl Schmidt, City Commissionercc: Mayor Michael A. Nutter, City of Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke City Controller Alan Butkovitz