Boy, voters sure do seem to be sick and tired of MAGA Republicans.
Democrats flipped a critical Pennsylvania county commission for the first time in over 100 years. Dauphin County houses the state capital of Harrisburg, and the Democrat who won has vowed to expand ballot access and ballot curing, which Dauphin didn’t allow under Republican rule. Pennsylvania is a large and vital swing state for 2024.
The person who flipped the County Commissioners Office is a progressive pastor named Justin Douglas, who ran a “longshot” campaign, under the “Run for Something” banner. The Keystone did a profile on him by Sean Kitchen, highlighting the importance of the win for Democrats, “In the broader picture, Douglas’ victory will be a boon for Democrats in a county that often votes blue in presidential and statewide elections, but has had trouble making inroads in offices further down the ballot.
This victory will allow Democrats to oversee how elections are conducted in Dauphin County for next year’s presidential election.”
Douglas arrived in Dauphin County in 2015 as a pastor, but lost his license to preach for allowing LGBTQ members into the church, according to the Keystone profile. Four years later, he started a non-denominational church based in Harrisburg. Douglas ran on what he was told was a losing issue: the deaths of 18 prisoners since 2019 who were in custody in Dauphin County.
Talk about real pro-life.
Daniel Nichanian of Bolts Magazine talked to the Democrat who won last week about his plan to expand ballot access by expanding the number of ballot drop boxes and allowing ballot curing and ensuring that the county proactively reaches out to people to inform them of a mistake.
In Pennsylvania, ballots can be confusing, especially mail in ballots that have a secret envelope and an outer envelope with specific and rather intimidating instructions. If a voter messes up anything on their ballot, it can be tossed unless the county takes action to prioritize reaching out to those voters to let them know they have an error, like they put the wrong date on the outer envelope, which has to be signed and dated in the right spot.
Notice that the Democrats aren’t trying to privilege anyone except for actual voters in the stance that every legitimate vote should be counted. This concept gets lost in the way the partisan divide is covered nationally, but it’s a basic For the People principle that is hard to argue against when presented honestly.
Nichanian also pointed out, “Democrats expanded their majority on the state supreme court and won a wave of county offices that determine policies on mail voting and are charged with certifying results.”
This is critical for democracy, given that several incumbent election deniers in red areas who refused to certify 2020 won last week’s election.
Here’s how Douglas celebrated his win on TikTok:
Win Win Win
♬ WIN – Jay Rock
Given the alarming state of the Republican Party lining up behind Donald Trump, who is using Hitler type speech to dehumanize people who don’t support him, every election matters. Justin Douglas was not expected to win. Run for Something encourages young progressives to run for office, a push meant to build a solid bench of diverse, pro-human rights candidates, some of whom could mature into national leaders.
“This is amazing. I worked in 4 congressional dog fight campaigns and Dauphin county was rock solid red. Never thought I would see this,” Democratic strategist Joe Trippi wrote over Bolts Magazine’s story.
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Image: Justin Douglas Tik Tok
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