We are newly elected Democratic committee people representing the 22nd Ward, 3rd Division, in Mt. Airy, and have been thinking about the upcoming November election. Hopefully, by now everyone in Philadelphia realizes that participation in the electoral process is one of the most important things we can do as citizens. Not voting can have consequences. When someone says to you that there is no difference between the candidates, think again. When you say to yourself, “My vote doesn’t count,” think again.
In the election in November 2016, only 64% of registered voters in Philadelphia participated in the election. Some 346,000 Philadelphians who are eligible to vote are not registered. Those are sobering statistics. Donald Trump won in Pennsylvania by 44,292 votes. Pat Toomey won by 86,690 votes. Approximately 17% of Philadelphians participated in the most recent primary election (although voter participation was higher in the 22nd Ward).
There are many reasons people give for not registering to vote. The most common is: “No one ever asked me to register.” Others are: I don’t want to vote, I didn’t get around to registering, I have privacy concerns, it’s not convenient for me to register to vote, I don’t know how to register to vote, I am not eligible to vote due to a felony conviction, registration opportunities are not accessible.
People who are registered to vote but vote infrequently say they dislike politics, are not informed, dislike the candidates or are too busy to vote.
- You may register to vote in three ways: online, by mail or in person.
- To register in person, go to any PennDOT photo license center.
- To register online, to www.pavoterservices.pa.gov and fill out the form online.
You may also download a hard copy of the application to fill out. If you reside in Philadelphia County, mail the completed form to:
Philadelphia Voter Registration Office
520 N Columbus Blvd., 5th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19123
People on parole and/or probation ARE eligible to vote. Voting rights are automatically restored when you are no longer incarcerated but you must re-register.
If you have your health-care coverage through the Affordable Health Care Act, believe migrants should be able to apply for asylum, are concerned about clean water and air, worry that our elections are being influenced by foreign governments or want sensible gun control, you should register to vote. The deadline is Oct. 9 to be able to vote in this fall’s midterm elections on Nov. 6.