The number of absentee ballots for a State College municipal primary reached a new record high today. According to the Daily Collegian, absentee ballots shot up from 30 in 2015 to 193 for this year’s primary. This 543% increase is certainly thanks in part to BugPAC.
It's a new municipal primary record for absentee ballots in State College! Thanks to all of you who have voted already. https://t.co/3QWy2l7HBA
— BugPAC (@bug_pac) May 16, 2017
BugPAC, the campaign that seeks to “reclaim State College,” launched earlier this year out of frustration with local State College governance and its disregard for Penn State students’ interests. A large part of BugPAC’s efforts have focused on registering students to vote in State College and helping get absentee ballots for those out-of-town for election day.
The political action committee got the name “bug” from a snide comment made by councilwoman Theresa Lafer. In May 2015, student leaders asked the borough council to put more streetlights in downtown alleyways. Lafer rejected the proposal saying that if the lights were installed, students would “coalesce” around them “like bugs.”
During its March launch in the HUB, BugPAC endorsed 4 candidates running on the Democratic ballot that will help build “a Happier Valley for every resident, regardless of student status”: Michael Black for mayor, and Marina Cotarelo, Dan Murphy, and Evan Myers for borough council seats. Since then, fellow “bugs” have spent the better part of the spring semester canvassing about BugPAC’s mission and helping citizens register for the upcoming primary.
Will BugPAC’s turnout success translate into a primary sweep? Polls close at 8 p.m. tonight.