WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way elections are being run and when they are taking place across the nation and right here in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania’s primary was moved to June 2nd, one month from today.
The coronavirus is also impacting how those running for public office campaign for voter support.
These are images that will not be seen during this election year because of the coronavirus… Large crowds of people attending campaign rallies.
Rallies have been a big part of seeking the support of voters as well as raising money for the campaign.
Also gone this year -thanks to COVID-19- is the person-to-person contact candidates normally have at events like fairs and community festivals. Matt Cartwright is seeking re-election in the 8th district.
“People who get into politics do it because they like people. I sure do. I love getting out and campaigning going to festivals, fairs, and parades getting around. So, I’m going to. I hope we can get back to that sooner rather than later.”
Six candidates are seeking the GOP nomination to oppose Cartwright in November. They, like Cartwright, are using social media to get their message out.
“It’s been very unique, to say the least. We haven’t done much campaigning except for reaching out through the phone. Today we are in Carbondale dropping off signs to supporters.”
“We’re going to get through this covid-19 crisis we keep engaging on Facebook on television and radio. All you can do is keep talking to the voters let them know how you feel and get the economy back open.”
“Often times it’s going to be the name you know.”
Political science professor Dr.Dave Sosar says candidates will now have to use television and radio more than they might have otherwise.. And he argues that social media may not reach many of our older voters.
“You have a lot of social media people have to use that could create a problem for a lot of people who are just not used to it yet.”
Other candidates tell Eyewitness News they are confident that voters will make the effort to learn the most they can about each candidate, from whatever source, and make an informed decision when they cast their vote.