Mark Dodel, BSN, MBA, RN (retired)

Blogs are the opinions of the bloggers only, and do not necessarily represent every Democrat or the Monroe County Democrats However, the MCD sponsors this blog to express and share the many ideas within our party.

FAQ on Voting in Monroe County

The following is not to be considered a complete source of information about voting in Pennsylvania but should cover most information needed. You can get more answers to your questions at https://www.votespa.com/

Any US Citizen, 18 years or older can vote in Pennsylvania as long as they have been a resident of the district for at least 30 days. You can register to vote in 3 ways in Pennsylvania.

1. When you apply or renew your Pennsylvania drivers license.

2. Using a paper form ( https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/Pages/VoterRegistrationApplication.aspx ) by mail or in person at the Monroe County Election Office, 1 Quaker Plaza, Room 105, Stroudsburg, weekdays 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Closed weekends and holidays.

3. Online at https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/Pages/VoterRegistrationApplication.aspx

You can verify your registration status online at https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/Pages/voterregistrationstatus.aspx

No matter how you register, you will get your voter registration card in the mail which will list your polling place. Bring this card with you, along with a photo ID or non-photo ID with your address on it ( https://www.votespa.com/Register-to-Vote/Pages/Voter-ID-for-First-Time-Voters.aspx ) the first time you vote. The card will list your voting precinct which is your polling place on Election Day. In Pennsylvania there is only in person voting at the polls on Election Day. There are two elections a year. A Primary Election usually in May and a General Election on the first Tuesday in November.

October 18, 2021 Last day to REGISTER before the November election

October 26, 2021 Last day to apply for a mail-in or civilian absentee ballot

November 2, 2021 Last day for County Boards of Elections to receive voted mail-in and civilian absentee ballots (must be received by 8:00 P.M.)

The 2021 General Election is on Tuesday, November 2, 2021. Polls open 7am to 8pm.

Besides your voter registration card you can also find the location of your polling place by using the PA Dept of State Polling Place lookup: https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/pages/pollingplaceinfo.aspx

In 2019/2020 the state of Pennsylvania enacted no excuse Vote By Mail. Any registered voter in Pennsylvania can vote by Mail Ballot with no excuse required. Be aware that there is also Absentee Ballot, which is written into our State Constitution so you will be asked questions related to that process (Whether you will be absent from your voting district or if you have a medical reason you can’t vote in person, or if you are in the military or reside outside the US) You can answer NO to each of those questions and still vote using a Mail Ballot. If you do answer YES to any you will still be able to vote by mail but the ballot will say “Absentee Ballot”. But the ballots are exactly the same except for the title at the top.

In Monroe County we now use paper ballots for in person and mail voting. If you request a mail ballot but show up at your polling place on Election Day you must bring the entire mail ballot and envelope to exchange for an in person ballot. If you don’t you will have to vote by Provisional Ballot which will only be counted after all the other ballots, to verify that you did not in fact vote by mail.

You can apply for a Mail In/Absentee Ballot online. https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/OnlineAbsenteeApplication You can also go into the County Election Office, ( 1 Quaker Plaza, Room 105, Stroudsburg, weekdays 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Closed weekends and holidays ) and apply in person for a Mail In Ballot and deposit your voted ballot in the office at the same time. In 2021 there are 6 mail ballot drop boxes in Monroe County:

If you are voting by Mail Ballot and it is less than 8 days before the election, DO NOT MAIL IT AT THIS POINT. It has to be received in the County Election office by 8pm on Election Day. You can return your Mail Ballot to any of the 6 drop box locations around the county.

Western Pocono Public Library
131 Pilgrim Way , Brodheadsville, Pa. 18322
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 9:00 am to 8:00 pm
Tuesday and Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Pocono Mountain Public Library
5500 Municipal Drive, Tobyhanna, Pa. 18466
Monday thru Friday 9:30 am to 6:00 pm
Saturday 9:30 am to 12:00 pm

Eastern Monroe Public Library
1002 North 9th Street,Stroudsburg, Pa. 18360
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Thursday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm
Friday and Saturday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Clymer Library
115 Firehouse Lane, Pocono Pines, Pa. 18350
Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Tuesday and Thursday 10:00 am to 8:00 pm

Middle Smithfield Community Center/Library
(Rte. 209) 5200 Milford Rd. East Stroudsburg, Pa 18302
Monday – Wednesday 9 am to 5pm
Thursday 10 am to 7pm
Friday – Saturday 10 am to 5 pm

Monroe County Administration Bldg.
1 Quaker Plaza, Room 105, Stroudsburg, PA 18360
Monday thru Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

You can check the status of your ballot online at https://www.votespa.com/Resources/Pages/Ballot-Tracker.aspx

Political Parties in Pennsylvania.

There are 2 major political parties in Pennsylvania, the Democratic party and the Republican party. They both participate in the Spring Primary Election. There is also the Green party and the Libertarian party, Independent, non-affiliated and whatever name you care to make up as a party but none of these participate in the Spring Primary elections. Independents and other parties have a different process to get on the General Election ballot with circulating petitions after the Primary. If there is a Ballot question or a proposed Constitutional Amendment then every registered voter may participate, otherwise Primaries are only for the 2 major parties. Everyone can and should vote in the General Election in November.

The Monroe County Democratic Committee office is at 18 S. 9TH Street, Suite 103 in Stroudsburg. They meet monthly on the 3rd Thursday of the month except December.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 491, Stroudsburg, PA 18360
Phone: 570-421-2400
Email: INFO@MONROEPADEMS.COM
Website: http://www.monroepadems.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/monroePAdems
Newsletter: Send an email with your name to newsletter@monroepadems.com

The MCDC is made up of Committeepersons elected every 4 years at the Primary Election in the year the Governor is elected. There are 2 per precinct. By DNC and MCDC Bylaws there is one male and one female Committeeperson. 

Each County also has representation on the Pennsylvania State Democratic Committee. That includes the County Party Chairperson as well as an assigned number of State Committee people. Currently Monroe has 3 State Committeepersons. Like County Committeepersons, they are elected every 4 years at the Primary Election in the year the Governor is elected.

Monroe County Legislative Voting Districts

US Senators
Pat Toomey (R-PA) 202-224-4254,Allentown, PA 610-434-1444
Bob Casey (D-PA) 202-224-6324, Allentown, PA 610-782-9470

UNITED STATES CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS

7th Congressional District: Rep. Susan Wild (D),
202-225-6411, 
Monroe Office: 570-807-0333
The Townships of Eldred, Hamilton, Ross, Smithfield (Dist. 01, 02 and 03), Stroud and the Boroughs of Stroudsburg, East Stroudsburg and Delaware Water Gap.

8th Congressional District: Rep. Matt Cartwright (D),
202-225-5546
, Monroe Office: 570--355-1818 

The Townships of Coolbaugh, Barrett, Chestnuthill, Jackson, Middle Smithfield, Paradise, Pocono, Polk, Price, Smithfield (Dist. 04), Tobyhanna, Tunkhannock, and the Borough of Mt. Pocono.

PENNSYLVANIA STATE OFFICES

Governor Tom Wolf (D), 717-787-2500 
https://www.governor.pa.gov


PA Senate Districts

DISTRICT 22: Senator Marty Flynn (D), (717) 787-6481
Barrett, Coolbaugh, Price Townships.

DISTRICT 40: Senator Mario Scavello (R),
717-787-6123 , Monroe: 570-620-4326
Chestnuthill, Eldred, Hamilton, Jackson, Middle Smithfield, Pocono, Polk, Paradise, Ross, Smithfield, Stroud, Tobyhanna, Tunkhannock Townships. Delaware Water Gap, East Stroudsburg, Mt Pocono, Stroudsburg Boroughs.

PA House Districts

DISTRICT 115: Rep. Maureen Madden (D), 717-787-5811, Stroudsburg: 570-420-2854 Coolbaugh: 570-894-7905
Coolbaugh, Paradise, Price, Stroud (District 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) Townships, East Stroudsburg, Stroudsburg Boroughs

DISTRICT 176: Rep. Jack Rader (R),
717-787-7732, Effort: 570-620-4341, 
Blakeslee: 570-643-7683 
Chestnuthill, Eldred, Jackson, Pocono, Polk, Tobyhanna, Tunkhannock Townships, Mt Pocono Borough.

DISTRICT 189: Rep. Rosemary Brown (R),
717-787-7732, East Stroudsburg: 570-420-8301 
(Monroe County) Barrett, Hamilton, Middle Smithfield, Ross, Stroud (District 7), Smithfield Townships, Delaware Water Gap Borough.
(Pike County) Delaware, Lehman, Porter Townships

Monroe County Commissioners Phone: (570) 517-3102

Chairman Sharon S Laverdure (D)
Vice Chairman John R. Moyer (R)
Commissioner John D. Christy (D)

County Commissioners meet the first and third Wednesdays every month at 9:30 at the 2nd floor Commissioners Meeting Room, One Quaker Plaza, Room 201 in Stroudsburg. http://www.monroecountypa.gov/Dept/Commissioners/Pages/Meetings-and-More.aspx

To join the Commissioners' Public Meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. https://www.gotomeet.me/Commissioners/commissioners-public-meetings You can also dial in using your phone. United States: +1 (408) 650-3123 
Access Code: 174-960-037

WHAT ARE THE ELECTED OFFICES IN MONROE COUNTY YOU CAN VOTE FOR. The following list of elected positions in Monroe County was adapted from the work of Betty Terrell-Cruz of the Top of the Mountain Democratic Club.

Auditors are elected to four-to six-year terms. They are responsible for reviewing the revenues and expenses of the townships.

Boroughs are self-governing. The four boroughs in Monroe County (Mount Pocono, Stroudsburg, East Stroudsburg and Delaware Water Gap) each has its own elected government consisting of a Council, a Mayor, and an appointed town manager or administrator. Borough councils in Monroe County each have 7 members with four- year overlapping terms.

Clerk of Courts is elected to a four-year term; the office is responsible for preparing and maintaining court records for criminal cases, and carries out many of the same functions as the Prothonotary does for civil actions. In Monroe County one elected official acts as both the Prothonotary and Clerk of Courts.

Constables in PA are local elected officials and serve six-year terms in service to the PA Magisterial courts. Constables are peace officers and assist in serving the Common Pleas Court when requested by the Sheriff.

Controller has a four-year term, manages fiscal affairs of the County to ensure that finances are administered, recorded and reported in a legal and timely manner. Duties include payroll, review and processing of all county bills, and overseeing grants from state and federal sources.

Coroner is a four-year elected position. The Coroner responds to scenes of death, interviews witnesses, examines the scene and removes the body from the scene. The office investigates certain types of deaths, especially when sudden, violent, unexplained or suspicious, to determine the cause and manner of death.

County Government is administered by a board of three Commissioners with four- year terms, the Commissioners act in legislative and executive capacities. Their role is to administer human service programs, conduct land use planning, maintain county property, and oversee the County Correctional Facility, the Housing Authority, Vector Control, zoning and conservation.

District Attorney serves as chief law enforcement officer for the County. This four-year elected position is responsible for prosecuting crimes and providing investigations for local police.

Inspector of Elections holds a four-year term, specifically elected for the purpose of working the elections. There are two Inspectors of Elections per polling place (precinct) who are each elected to a four year term. The Inspectors assist the Judge of Elections in the conduct of the Election on election day.

Judge of Elections holds a four-year term, specifically elected for the purpose of working the elections. The Judge of Elections has direct control of the polling site and is assisted by inspectors, clerks, machine operators and a Constable. Each precinct has its own Judge of Election who is in charge of the polling place on election day.

Magisterial District Courts have jurisdiction over civil claims where the disputed amount is less than $12,000, landlord/tenant disputes, Summary Offenses, and minor criminal matters. All Misdemeanor and Felony criminal cases are initially filed in the Magisterial District Courts. There are 9 Magisterial District judges in Monroe County, each elected to a 10-year term.

Monroe County Court of Common Pleas of the 43rd Judicial District is a state trial court with jurisdiction in serious criminal and civil cases of more than $7,000. It hears appeals from lower (magistrate) courts and appeals of decisions of state and government agencies. The President Judge supervises magisterial justices and their administration. There are 6 judges, including the P.J., elected to 10-year terms.

Prothonotary is elected to a four-year term, maintains court records including liens, judgments and divorce actions as well as civil and equity files. This office collects filing fees, issues receipts, certifies court documents, and issues passports.

Public Defender (Chief Public Defender) is appointed by the County Commissioners; the office represents individuals who are charged with state crimes and cannot afford an attorney. Services are paid for by the taxpayers of Monroe County, and eligibility for representation is based upon the gross income level of the applicant, applying the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Recorder of Deeds is a four-year elected position; the office acts as a collection agent for realty transfer tax for the State, municipalities and school districts. It funds the archiving and historical preservation of county land records.

Register of Wills is a four-year elected position which provides various services such as the probate of decedent estates, collection of inheritance taxes and maintenance of records pertaining to estates. In Monroe County one elected official acts as both the Recorder of Deeds and Register of Wills.

School Districts are four in number in Monroe County – Pleasant Valley, Pocono Mountain, East Stroudsburg, and Stroudsburg. Each district is administered by a School Board consisting of nine members elected to 4-year terms, with staggered terms every two years.

Sheriff is a four-year elected position, provides law enforcement and security to County courts. The Sheriff also executes civil complaints, summons, evictions, protection from abuse orders, and criminal warrants.

Tax Collectors serve a four-year term and, through municipal authority, collect all real estate taxes (County, municipal and school) for all properties within the boroughs and townships.

Townships are usually the first stop for residents who seek information or action on their issues. First-class townships have five commissioners, three elected for terms of four years each, and two for terms of two years each. Second-class townships may have three or five supervisors and they are elected to six-year terms.

Township Supervisors are responsible for health and safety of residents. Duties include zoning, planning and land use, land acquisition, police and fire protection, roads and bridges, snow removal, parks and recreation, storm water management, and libraries.

Treasurer is elected to a four-year term and is responsible for receiving, receipting and disbursing County monies. This office also serves as State agent for providing dog, hunting and fishing licenses.

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