“I was motivated by convenience rather than fear. I also liked that I had the time to research the candidates on the ballot from home, rather than just picking at random for the lesser known offices,” O’Brien told PGN. He fears a second Trump term could lead to a Pence presidency should the president be incapacitated. “For Trump, the Bible is a prop. For Pence, it’s a legal blueprint. If Trump cannot finish out his second term, that would elevate Pence from a neutered lackey to one of the most dangerous Presidents for gay rights imaginable.”
Meg Rider, a healthcare administration manager, and Natalie McDonald, a journalist and artist, are married and make their home in Old City. Rider, who cast a mail-in ballot for the primary, is going to attend and vote at the Pride at the Polls event, while MacDonald plans to vote in person at her Old City polling place.
“There’s a sign on the location where I usually vote saying that we in the precinct will be directed to a different location, but so far there’s no word on where that might be. Unfortunately, none of the precinct’s voters I’ve spoken with in person or via neighborhood social media groups have heard anything about the decision as to where we will actually be casting our votes,” McDonald explained. “I don’t know if this is related to COVID-19 or not, but I sincerely hope it does not confuse or create a hardship for people to vote this year.”
As of Oct. 13th, nine satellite election offices — where voters can register to vote as well as vote early — are up and running in the region, including at City Hall. According to Nate Osburn, the satellite offices provide a great way to vote in what we already know is a contentious election. Osburn, who previously worked in the Obama administration, says LGBTQ Philadelphians are highly motivated this year compared with four years ago.
“A lot of people are posting on social media about how they’ve voted by mail or dropped off their votes in person at City Hall,” said Osburn, who voted early. “I’m planning to volunteer on election day, so I definitely wanted to get it done in advance, but I also didn’t want to worry about the weather, a family emergency, or even having to quarantine for some reason.”
Despite the issues surrounding COVID-19, there should be no excuse holding you back from voting this year, officials said.
“The time has come for elected officials at every level of government,” Yorgey-Girdy said, “to implement laws that give LGBTQ+ individuals equal rights in all areas of life, eliminate policies that explicitly or implicitly allow for bias, and fix the broken criminal justice system. People are excited to cast a vote for the Biden/Harris ticket and hopefully see the first woman of color elected vice-president.” He also noted the importance of voting for offices at the state and local level. “People also desperately want to see the U.S. Senate, and both houses of the Pennsylvania legislature, flip from red-to-blue.”