By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There just a few days left before the March 10th deadline for political candidates to file nominating petitions with the Philadelphia’s City Commissioners’ Office. The repeated snow storms are forcing campaigns to find creative ways to get signatures.READ MORE: WATCH LIVE: Pennsylvania Horticultural Society To Preview Plans For 2021 Philadelphia Flower Show
Prospective candidates get three weeks to get hundreds and possibly thousands of voter signatures, but since the the period started candidates have been dealing with snow storms, ice and slush conditions.
“I’m out here trying to get people to sign the petitions to get these candidate on the ballot,” says Margo Jackson, a campaign worker. She’s collecting signatures for two candidates for City Council, a city commissioner and about half dozen candidates for the bench. With clipboard and pen in hand she says she can get about 30 signatures an hour for each candidate if she goes door-to-door, but with the weather, she and many of her colleagues are forced to choose indoor options.
“I’ve known people to be at like supermarkets or at like SEPTA stations to get signatures,” she says, “but when you’re out here in the street canvassing, you get a lot of people who are reluctant.”
She says the most effective way is to get people at home, which aids voter education. But for that, she’ll have to wait until the snow stops and people have time to clear their walk ways.READ MORE: Firefighters Save Bride's Wedding Dress After Fire Breaks Out At Normandy Farm Hotel In Blue Bell
“The good thing is, once people have cleared the ice, I know they’ll be home,” says Jackson.
“One thing I think we’re seeing in this election is a little less door-to-door,” says David Thornburg, president of the Committee of Seventy. He says the bad weather has forced candidates and their supporters to find creative ways to get the job done more efficiently.
“I’ve seen people doing petition parties,” he says, “where you get a neighbor to open up their house and kind of get signatures that way from a group of people.”
He says the nominating petition is a fairly low hurdle for the election, but it’s a test.
“For new candidates this is their first test of their ability to organize people,” he says.MORE NEWS: WATCH LIVE: Philadelphia Officials To Provide COVID-19 Vaccination Program Update
For the less organized, with days lost to weather, passing the test could be an uphill battle.