As you may have heard, there is going to be an election for President of the United States this November. Local, state, and other federal seats are also up for grabs. It is a long way until November 8, but it is not too early to begin planning for the big day by asking yourself these few simple questions:
- Am I registered to vote?
- Am I registered to vote in Pennsylvania?
- Has my name and/or address changed from when I originally registered?
- Where will I be on election day? (In other words, will I need to obtain an absentee ballot?)
High school seniors turning 18 will find it easy to register online but they will need to be prodded by their parents or mentors to take the ten minutes necessary to do so! And if young people plan on living away from home in November (either at college, in the military, or on their own), where they register is an important consideration. For example, a student who is registered to vote in Pittsburgh may be residing on a college campus in another city or state in November. They will need to request an absentee ballot by snail-mail and submit it (also by snail-mail) before election day. (Here are the instructions for voting by absentee ballot.) Alternatively, they can wait until they get to their new address (even if they live on-campus) and register and vote there.
Planning ahead and making sure you are registered to vote will insure that your vote will be counted. In one sense, your vote is the only way your voice as a citizen will be heard.
And remember, if you don’t vote, you can’t complain!