Amish PAC aims ta win mer votes fer Trumb n' 2020 n' a state bof Trumb an' t'Demokrats air desperate ta win. Amish folk tend ta align stronglee un policy wiff Republikuns, who share thar opposishun ta abershun an' same-sex marriage. But makin voters out o't' Amish, who fergo technology like telavishun an' t'Innernets an' who bleev fiercelee n' t'separashun o'thar religiyus communitee frum gummint intrusion, may be a steep goal.Un a farm whar eiite Amish youngns n' thar tradityunal clothyun' wuz playyun' baseball, a yung woomin sed sternlee o'thems who would ast t'Amish ta vote: “We don’t rilly preciate at.”Wile she skillfullee snappt lima beun pods off t'bushes at hern farm, anoth'r woomin sed about votin: “My husban' nev'r did; I nev'r did.”T' same anser at market stall aft'r market stall, whar Amish farmers sell thar wares: Nev'r votid. Nev'r wantid ta vote.But Be Walters, who co-foundt Amish PAC, sez t'ide is turnin. He heerd tell frum mer Amish folk willeeun' ta vote n' 2018 thun n' 2016; n' 2020, he thinks, t'numbers will be still har. “Thar votes would be so impertant, an' thar’s a slew o'um,” he sed. “Since 2016, ever sangle year, it gits a lil bit easi'r. We’re seein mer an' mer signs o'progress. I reckon behavyers air finallee a'changin.”Walters lives n' t'Washington area an' is nairy Amish, tho he wuz familiar wiff t'sect — a Christchun communitee which settlt n' Pennsillvany n' t'18th centry an' hus protectid its farmyun'-bast, technology-minimizyun' way o'life ev'r since. His'n gran'parants had Amish friens n' Indiannie, he sez, who ust ta invite 'im fer meels.At wuz enough ta spark his'n curiositee about t'sect’s votin behavier. Aft'r wurkin un a PAC suppertyun' Be Carsen’s 2016 run fer presdint, Walters teemt up wiff barn-bildin cumpny own'r Be Kyun' — who grew up Amish an' lef t'faith — ta make t'Amish an' thar local religiyus cousins, t'conservatif' Mennonite denominatyuns, thar new politickull projeck.At Elizabethtown College n' Lancast'r Countee, Kyle Kopko an' Steve Nolt — acoupla o't' feremost experts un t'Amish — air studyin t'results o't' PAC’s efferts. Nolt sed he is skeptical t'PAC a'ken make much o'a dent. “Fer a group like t'Amish PAC, t'key is — ta whut extent could a group like Amish PAC take at civic idantitee at’s here, an' leverage at into registeryun' ta vote an' ackshly votin?” he sed. “Thar’s nairy a prohibishun, [but] thar would be a fairlee strong, strong religiyus an' cultural bius agin [votin.]”Focusyun' un Lancast'r Countee, whar mer thun 10 persent o'Amurka’s 300,000-plus Amish citizens lif', t'acoupla reseerchers foun at 1,019 Amish folk cus votes n' t'countee n' 2016, out o'15,055 eligibull voters. At is nairy a slew, altho n' t'late 1990s, few'r thun 450 o't' Amish wuz eve registert ta vote.T' Amish have bee n' t'Unitid States fer hundreds o'yeers but speek a Germun dialect ta thishere day, an' ref'r ta outsiders us “English.” Thay still dress much us thay did wen thay arrivt n' thishere kuntry. Thay avoid gummint intrusion n' minny a ferms — by withdrawyun' thar youngns frum skool an' a'puttin 'um ta wurk n' fambly businesses aft'r eighth grade; by seekyun' waivers, unusual amungst almos inny uther Amurkin group, ta exempt thayselves frum participashun n' Soshul Securty.Votin makes minny a apprehensif', jes us it duz n' sum tradityunal Mennonite communitees n' t'region.“Well, we don’t. It’s jes sumthin we don’t do. It’s jes sumthin at isn’t practict amungst air folk — thay feel like we us Christyins air a'lookin ferward ta goin ta heeve sumdee, an' we don’t vote,” Janice Lehmun sed us she wurked at a produce stall n' a Lancast'r Countee farm market.Lehmun is a memb'r o'one o'Lancast'r Countee’s minny a Mennonite sects, a Christchun tradishun which shares roots wiff t'Amish but varies mer widelee n' level o'integrayshun wiff t'outside worl. Mennonites air much mer lackly ta git noose about politics frum TV, radeeo an' t'Innernets, all technologies which t'Amish don’t use. Sum Mennonites air verr politicallee involvt (one paster’s biddy eve run fer Congress lus year, us a Democrat). Utherns, like Lehmun, belong ta mer tradityunal orders which emfasize communal values, ol'-fashyunt dress an' disengagement frum t'earthlee reelm.Amish PAC hopes ta reech thems conservatif' Mennonite voters us well.Yvonne Beil'r, a Mennonite farm own'r, sed she had heerd tell about t'vot'r-registrashun push an' she wasn’t innerested. “We don’t vote, an' we jes try ta pray fer air leeders,” she sed us hern cows moot loudlee an' one o'hern six youngns callt out ta hern us he tinkert wiff a ranch. (Yung enough ta still have tranen wheels un his'n bike, t'boy is alreddy bull ta adjust t'wheels hissef.)“I guess we jes feel like it’s nairy fer us ta vote. At would be air bleef, I guess,” Beil'r sed. “I’m nairy perzackly shure. We jes don’t do at.”But Geerge W. Bush, who wuz presdint frum 2001 ta 2009, changd at percepshun fer sum n' Lancast'r Countee.Bush an' his'n fath'r, Geerge H.W. Bush, wuz t'onlee acoupla sittin presidants who kum ta speek ta Amish citizens, Nolt sez. T' young'r Bush alreddy had goodwill bilt up by his'n fath'r n' t'communitee, an' he campaignt hard n' Pennsillvany. His'n frekwent talk o'Christchun values, his'n idantificashun wiff rural Amurka an' his'n opposishun ta abershun an' ta same-sex marriage all appeelt ta t'Amish.N' 2004, 1,342 Amish folk n' Lancast'r Countee alone kum out ta vote fer 'im.Trumb is nowhar near us popular amungst t'Amish. So t'fack at Amish votin eve apperacht at peak n' 2016 indicates Amish PAC’s efferts mite be wurkin, Kopko an' Nolt sed.T' PAC, which spent neerly $140,000 n' 2016 an' hus raist $32,000 so fur fer 2020, accerdyun' ta campaign finance recerds, mosly focuses un advertisyun' n' heevilee Amish areus o'Pennsillvany an' Ohio. N' 2016, thar “VOTE Trumb” billboards showd a pitchure o'un Amish buggy wiff t'wurds, “Hard Wurkin, Pro-Life, Fambly Dedicatid . . . Jes Like Y'all.”T' group is alreddy payin fer newspap'r advertisemants ta encourage prospectif' 2020 voters ta regist'r nawh, an' will put t'billboards back up n' 2020.As a rule, Amish church members don’t have driv'r’s lisenses. But n' addishun ta gittin roun by t'rademark gray buggies at Lancast'r’s rodes air famus fer, an' by t'acoupla-wheelt, no-pedal, bysickle-like scoot'r at t'Amish pref'r, minny a air willeeun' ta ride n' cars, jes nairy drif' 'um.So un Eeleckshun Day n' 2016, Amish PAC mobilizt voters ta ryun' ever Amish doerbell thay knew o'n' Lancast'r Countee, offerin rides ta t'polls. Walters sez mer thun 200 nun-Amish Republicun volunteers hepped out.Thay hit thar jackpot at un Amish weddyun' — all Amish weddings take place un weekdays n' late fall, wen t'harvest skejule allows enough time fer it — whar thay drove numeryus weddyun' guests ta go vote.Walters sez he is confident at if'n t'Amish do vote, thay will vote fer Trumb. “Thay a'ken relate ta a businessmun who runs a fambly bizness wiff his'n kids. I reckon thay preciate t'fack at he abstuns frum alkyhol an' drugs,” he sed.His'n fundraisyun' messages, which drum up donatyuns frum Republikuns across t'kuntry willeeun' ta invest n' t'Amish vote, mock Demokrats an' use favert Fox Noose catchfrases. Wen he talks ta Amish would-be voters, he takes a differnt tone. “T' Amish keer about religiyus libertee, bizness regulashun, abershun an' judges. Thems air fer thangs at t'Amish overwhelminglee suppert Presdint Trumb ov'r whoev'r t'Demokratic can'idate is. We talk a slew mer about issues thun we do about can'idates,” he sed.Kopko an' Nolt foun at 90 persent o'Amish who do regist'r do so us Republikuns. Less thun 1 persent regist'r us Demokrats.At Root’s Kuntry Market, a jumbull o'rural Pennsillvany cultchurs collide ever Tuesdee. It’s t'sort o'place whar a tradityunallee dresst Amish woomin sellin durry products sets up shop rite nex ta a secular stan' at makes lewd, winkyun' references un hats an' T-shirts ta town names n' t'area: “Intercourse, Pa. Tween Blue Ball an' Paradise.”N' t'market’s sprawleeun' bildins an' rows o'outdoer stan's, auctyuneers will sell innythang, eve a few boxes o'Kraft macaroni an' cheez, ta t'highest bidd'r. Merchants who may be Amish, Mennonite er “English” peddle jambalaya, wine, hemp earl, fife differnt edityuns o'“Anne o'Gree Gables,” reems o'VHS an' cassette tapes an' paperback romants novels an' a rtuct-price TV set up ta play ol' episodes o'“Bewitcht.”Utherns sell Trumb hats, Trumb flags an' Trumb bobbleheeds, an' Confederate flag belt buckles, wallets an' ban'annus.One religiyus woomin sellin flavert pretzels an' pies pilt high wiff strawberries at a market stall didn’t want ta discuss politics, but sed wen she votes, she votes “ta stay conservatif'.”But Trumb doesn’t appeer ta have gunt a slew o'tracshun n' t'communitee. Omar Stolzfus, a'runnin a pit beef stan' at t'bustleeun' market, sed he skippt t'polls n' 2016 becawz he wuz dissatisfit wiff bof can'idates. He lus votid n' 2004. Geerge W. Bush wuz t'lus can'idate who had “Christchun values at I shart,” he sed.Menfolk like Stolzfus, who own businesses at brang 'um n' contact wiff nun-Amish naybors ofte, air mer lackly ta have politickull opinyuns thun farmers who interact almos entirelee wiff fella Amish folk. And menfolk air much mer lackly ta vote thun Amish wimmen: 77 persent o'Amish who registert n' 2016 wuz male, Kopko an' Nolt foun.Persilla Stolzfus, who wurked at t'cuple’s durry stall inside t'market wile hern husban' mannt thar beef shack outside, sed she nev'r thunk o'votin eve wen hern spouse did. “Maybe I feel like it’s sumthin at t'husban' us a leed'r would do, insteed o'myself,” she sed.At’s hoe Elizabeth Lapp, who owns a stan'-alone farm stan' wiff hern husban' n' Lancast'r, thinks about it too. She describes herself us “a kuntry biddy” who doesn’t pay much tenchun ta politics.“I reckon Trumb — who’s Trumb? He’s t'presdint, rite? — he’s a'doin purty good. Jes frum whut I hear folk say, he’s a'trine ta improov thangs,” she sed.Ike Lapp, un t'uther han', is t'rare Amish mun wiff nuff o'politickull opinyuns. His'n neighber Bob, who is nairy Amish, frekwantlee drives 'im frum place ta place. And Bob watches Fox Noose, an' fills Lapp n' un whut is happenin.Lapp sez o'Trumb: “I reckon he duz mer o'whut he sez thun a slew o't' presidants ev'r did. If'n he sez it, he meens it. . . .He’s purty rash, but I reckon at’s whut we net us a leed'r.”Lapp is agin impeechment. (“I jes reckon it’s anoth'r way fer t'folk at don’t like 'im ta git sumthin agin 'im.”) Tho he onlee gits t'local Lancast'r newspap'r an' nev'r watches TV er heers t'radeeo, he’s concernd about fake noose. (“Sad ta say, t'media jes wonts y'all ta hear t'bad side o'everbidy. Thar hus ta be a good side.”)He’s a'thankin o'registeryun' ta vote fer t'furst time. N' 2020, he mite cus t'furst ballot o'his'n life, fer Trumb.


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