Carolyn Comitta Awarded 2020 Pennsylvania Library Association Elected Official Award

Carolyn Comitta Awarded 2020 Pennsylvania Library Association Elected Official Award

Each year, the Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA) honors the service of their members, as well as those community volunteers, who go above and beyond the call of duty to support the work of libraries throughout the commonwealth.

On Thursday, October 15, 2020, the 2020 Elected Official of the Year

The Pennsylvania Library Association is honored to present the 2020 Elected Official Award to Representative Carolyn Comitta of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 156th Legislative District, Chester County.

For over 45 years, Representative Carolyn Comitta has been an advocate of libraries, whether an elementary school teacher advocating for her school library, an avid user of her local public library in West Chester, or a voice in support of funding for all public libraries in Pennsylvania. 

Ms. Comitta started her political career in West Chester.  As a Borough Council member, she supported the increase of funding for the West Chester Public Library.  When she became a two-term Mayor of West Chester, PA, she backed many library projects, was especially active in the local summer reading programs, and always made room in her schedule for a library event.

When Ms. Comitta moved to the state-wide political arena, she maintained her commitment to libraries.  She still participates in the local Legislative Breakfast and often speaks on how to increase state and local library funding and how libraries should connect with elected officials.  And, as Member of the House Appropriations Committee, Representative Comitta was permitted one question at the Education Department hearings. Her question was directed at increasing library funding in Pennsylvania and she added her own emphasis by saying: “Libraries are an investment in our children and adults, as well as workforce development.  They provide enhanced opportunities for each person, regardless of economic class, race, or gender.  Libraries need, at the very least, continued funding now more than ever. I will continue to raise my voice on behalf of public libraries in Pennsylvania.”

For her dedication to supporting and advocating for public libraries in her role as an elected official, it is with sincere appreciation and gratitude that the Pennsylvania Library Association presents the 2020 Elected Official Award to Representative Carolyn Comitta.

“Representative Carolyn Comitta has been an enthusiastic library supporter, speaking passionately on behalf of the value of public libraries and the role they play in the everyday life of Pennsylvania’s residents throughout her political career.” Said Kimberley Hravnik, Chair of the Pennsylvania Library Association Legislative Committee. “The libraries of Chester County, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, are fortunate to have a staunch ally in Representative Comitta.”

A committee comprised of association members reviews the nominations, submitted in late summer, and selects winners for a series of categories. Previous winners include Representative Stan Saylor in 2019, PA Senator Guy Reschenthaler in 2018, and Easttown Township Supervisor Christopher Polites in 2017.

“The Pennsylvania Library Association and its members rely on the support of elected officials.  Without State and Local funding support and awareness our libraries could not support their communities effectively.  We are grateful for the support of Representative Comitta and spotlighting the work of libraries in their communities.”  said Christi Buker, PaLA Executive Director.

Founded in 1901, the Pennsylvania Library Association is the state’s oldest professional library organization serving libraries, library employees, library trustees, and Friends of the Library groups. PaLA represents more than 1,300 personal, institutional, and commercial members affiliated with public, academic, special and school libraries throughout the commonwealth. The association represents the profession in Harrisburg with the state legislature and provides opportunities for professional growth, leadership development and continuing education for librarians.

For a listing of previous award winners, click here. For more information about the work of the Pennsylvania Library Association, visit www.palibraries.org.

Vote By Mail, By Ballot Drop-Off or In-Person This Fall

Vote By Mail, By Ballot Drop-Off or In-Person This Fall

This year, Pennsylvania voters have the option to vote by mail, early in-person, and at the polls on election day. Visit PA Dems’ voting center to make your plan to vote this fall. 

Vote By Mail

Your Chester County guide to mail-in ballots.

What is the difference between mail-in and absentee ballots?

Any registered voter can request a mail-in ballot. Absentee ballots are for voters who plan to be out of the municipality on election day (on vacation, active military, college students) or if you have a disability or illness. 

How do I request a vote by mail or absentee ballot?

You MUST be registered to apply for a mail-in or absentee application. The voter registration application has a section to request to vote by mail in the general election (and future elections). 

What is the deadline to request a mailed ballot?

If voting by mail, you must apply for an absentee or mail-In ballot. The last day to apply is October 27, 2020 by 5:00 PM. Postmarks do not apply if sending a paper application.

When will I receive my ballot in the mail?

Ballots must be certified by the Department of State before they are sent out. Once approved, ballots will be mailed to voters who have applied and approved to vote by mail-in ballot in late September. 

How can I check my ballot status? 

You can check your ballot application and mailing status at PA Voter Service’s website

Do we have to pay for postage? 

All postage will be paid on return ballots.

What is the deadline to return my completed mail-in/absentee ballot?

Ballots must be received in the county election office by 8:00 PM on election day, November 3, 2020.

When does my ballot need to be postmarked by?

Votes be counted if postmarked by Nov. 3 8 pm and received by Friday Nov. 6.

Dropping Off My Ballot

If you are not comfortable mailing in your completed ballot, there are several ballot drop-off locations throughout the county. 

Can I drop off my ballot?

Completed mail-in ballots can be dropped off at the Chester County Government Services Center 7 days/week, 24 hours per day. 

Ten drop boxes for ballots will be placed at public libraries beginning October 13. Hours of operation: M-F 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM, and Sat/Sun from 10 AM to 2 PM. The locations include Avon Grove, Chester County (Exton), Coatesville, Downingtown, Easttown, Honey Brook, Kennett, Parkesburg, Phoenixville, and Spring City. An additional 24/7 ballot drop box location will be available at the West Chester Government Services Center. Click here for a map.

Can I drop off a family member or neighbor’s ballot? 

No. Each voter must drop off their own ballot. 

Will the drop boxes be secure?

All Ballot Drop Boxes will be staffed and secured while in operation. Drop boxes will be taken back to West Chester each night by employees with body cameras.

Voting In Person

Please check for polling place updates before you head out to vote, bring a mask, and practice social distancing.

When can I vote early in-person?

Starting soon, through October 27th at 5:00 PM, you can vote early by going to your county elections office in person, requesting a ballot, completing it, and handing it back on the spot!

What do I need to bring with me if I am a first time voter?

The first time you vote, you must bring a photo or non-photo ID.

When will the polls be open?

Polls are open from 7 AM to 8 PM on Tuesday, November 3. The busiest times of day to vote are in the morning and evening. If you can, try going at less busy times.

Will my polling place be the same?

Polling places are still being finalized. The final list will be posted on the County’s Election Portal, Chesco.org, Facebook, and Twitter.

Chester County Virtual Phone Bank

Chester County Virtual Phone Bank

From August 22nd to August 28th,

Join us for a virtual phone bank to talk with voters in Chester County about electing Pennsylvania Democrats up and down the ballot!

Chester County must be protected in November! Please join us to phone bank on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays to help elect Vice President Joe Biden.

The most effective way for us to reach voters right now is through phone calls, and we need you to help us get the word out to make sure Democrats can have their voices heard.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED — A computer with reliable internet service — A mobile or landline phone — A comfy, quiet place in your home

To get started, we recommend opening the phone bank and getting set up a few minutes before your scheduled start time so you can focus on having good conversations for your full shift. We recommend using a recent version of Chrome or Firefox as your internet browser to access the link.

We encourage all active and prospective phone bankers to join our remote volunteer community Slack for live support.