Innovative Step Forward: Philadelphia Opens First Ever Permanent Satellite Election Office

Mayor Cherelle L. Parker Joins City Commissioners to Unveil First Permanent Satellite Election Office Submitted Image

PHILADELPHIA, PA — In a significant move to advance election accessibility, Philadelphia unveiled its first permanent satellite election office on Tuesday, situated at 4029 Market Street in West Philadelphia. Mayor Cherelle L. Parker, together with Philadelphia City Commissioners, launched the office with the objective of improving voting services for eligible voters.

The City of Brotherly Love persists in its mission to make voting easier and more inclusive. This enduring site functions as a complete-package voting service hub. Philadelphians who are eligible to vote can register, update their registration, and request their mail-in ballot, all under one roof. The office is also staffed by the County Board of Elections, ready to assist citizens through every step of the voting process.

A conveniently placed mail-in ballot drop box located directly outside the office eliminates the need for residents to travel far to submit their ballots. The office began operations on Monday, March 25, 2024, marking it as the premier permanent satellite election office to open in the Commonwealth.

The launch was celebrated with a press conference witnessed by Mayor Parker alongside Philadelphia City Commissioner Chairman Omar Sabir, City Commissioner Seth Bluestein, Pennsylvania Department of State Secretary and former-Philadelphia City Commissioner, Al Schmidt, State Senator Vincent Hughes, State Representative Regina Young, and numerous other elected and appointed City officials. Notably present were also various non-partisan advocacy and community leaders. This auspicious event signaled the inaugural opening of the first of 10 permanent satellite election offices, with the rest slated to open before the General Election on Tuesday, November 5, 2024.

In her address, Mayor Parker lauded Philadelphia as a forerunner in electoral innovation. She appreciated the City Commissioners for their unyielding commitment to facilitating elections that are safe, fair, transparent, and accessible. Mayor Parker emphasized how these offices, located in every City Council District, protect Philadelphia’s democracy by ensuring residents’ right to vote while simultaneously fostering voter participation.

Echoing Mayor Parker’s sentiments, Chairman Sabir remarked on how such election offices exemplify Philadelphia’s commitment to inclusive and accessible electoral processes. He highlighted the importance of these offices in overcoming obstacles faced by residents lacking internet access or seniors struggling to obtain voting information and services online.

Adding to the chorus of approval, Commissioner Seth Bluestein expressed pride in the strategic location of the office, situated in the heart of West Philadelphia, along a significant and historic commercial corridor with ready access to public transportation. Al Schmidt, Pennsylvania Department of State Secretary, suggested the new offices would significantly improve voter access by bringing county Board of Elections services closer to where people live and work.

The urgency of voter accessibility was supported by varied city officials such as Senator Vincent Hughes and District Attorney Larry Krasner, who stressed the necessity of overcoming barriers to voting and ensuring that every vote is safeguarded. Similarly, Third District Councilmember Jamie Gauthier viewed the new offices as a means to make voting safer, easier, and more accessible as the eyes of the world return to their city for the presidential election.

At a time when elections have become hotly contested affairs, City Solicitor Renee Garcia views these offices as crucial in the bid to ensure that Philadelphians can access resources safely and conveniently. They address what Jen Coatsworth, Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor, referred to as a cardinal justice issue – that of ensuring easy access to the ballot box.

This office is the only satellite election site to open in Philadelphia since the 2020 elections, and the first designed to be a permanent location. Its opening is perfectly timed ahead of the forthcoming Pennsylvania primary election scheduled for Tuesday, April 23, 2024.

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