On Nov. 8, Pennsylvanians will vote for prominent state and national offices, including Governor, Lt. Governor, and U.S. Senator. But many often overlooked and no less important local elections are also on the ballot this year.
The importance of voting
This isn’t a presidential election, but that doesn’t mean it has less impact. The midterm election will vote on the House of Representatives and Senators this year. These elected officials have a direct impact on your state and local communities.
Dr. Joseph Fitzgerald, Cabrini professor of history and political science, said, “It’s important because one-third of the U.S. Senate’s seats are in play, and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives are in play. President Biden’s agenda can be advanced if the Democratic Party holds all its current senatorial and house seats and picks up at least two senatorial seats occupied by Republican Party members.”
Regardless of which party a voter prefers, casting a ballot impacts the community. It is especially important for young voters to cast their ballots this year.
“Each election cycle is important for younger voters because they commonly have different views on certain issues and topics than people who belong to older generations, such as their parents and grandparents,” said Fitzgerald. Some of those topics include race, gender, LGBTQ+ concerns, climate change, and health care.
Students excited to vote
Alyssa DeGeorge, freshman education major, is excited to vote for the first time this year. DeGeorge said, “It feels really cool to finally have a chance to participate.”
DeGeorge, who is from Warminster, Pa., will be traveling home from campus to vote in her first election.
Maura Tumelty, senior exercise science major, said, “It is important to share my vote and do my part as a citizen.”
Many students live far away from campus and can’t go home to vote. This is why registering for an absentee ballot while in college is so important.
“I vote by mail-in ballots. … I thought it would be easier since I am in school in a different state from where I vote,” said Tulmelty.
Ways to register
Those looking to vote in the upcoming midterm election must register. The last day to register to vote in Pennsylvania is Oct. 24., and for New Jersey residents, it’s Oct. 18. It’s easy to register to vote online for both New Jersey and Pennsylvania in a few easy steps.
To register online, voters need a valid driver’s license or a non-driver ID card. A social security number is also accepted. You just need one form of ID to register.
Students who live far from home can request an absentee ballot. The last day to request an absentee ballot is Nov. 1. for both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.