special election

Bring Your Own Pen: Coronavirus Doesn't Stop Bucks County Special Election

The special election for Pennsylvania's 18th district state house seat went on despite a countywide shutdown over the coronavirus

NBC Universal, Inc.

At a Bensalem, Pennsylvania, polling site, voters were met with hand sanitizer (including some branded with a candidate’s name), people wearing gloves as they handed out fliers, and an election amid a pandemic.

The special election for a state representative seat representing the 18th district in Bensalem went forward Tuesday after county officials were unsuccessful in in petitioning to postpone it. Bensalem voters joined others in Illinois, Florida and Arizona in voting Tuesday as those states held primary elections.

At one site, the judge of elections said his own family didn’t want him to go to the polls.

“I’m 72 and have heart problems,” Bruce Siemers said. “But I’m the judge, I have all the paperwork and everything. I had to come.”

Asked if he would have preferred the election had been postponed, Siemers said:
“Well, yeah but then again, everything is at least two weeks - how far are they going to push it back?”

Siemers said he was surprised at the volume of voters coming out to his site in Bucks County on Tuesday.

“I don’t want to live in fear,” said Andrea Zapczynski, who voted Tuesday.

Zapczynski did take the option of using her own pen at the polling site.

Voter Tia Clayton, however, said she opted to use one of the pens provided.

“I’m not trying to contaminate my stuff,” Clayton said.

Clayton said she thought it was important to come out to vote.

“I just decided to come around this time when i thought there would be less people,” said Clayton who said she used hand sanitizer on the way out and felt good about the experience at her polling site.

Outside one site, Republicans and Democrats greeting voters noticed not everyone wanted to take the papers they were offering, or touch the door on the way inside.

Contact Us