On behalf of Ready. Set. Vote.Please accept the following letter from Pedro Cortes, the Secretary of the Commonwealth. Mr. Cortes is the state’s chief election official and is writing as part of the state’s nonpartisan Ready. Set. Vote. voter outreach and education campaign.
To the Editor:
Wanted: All registered voters at West Chester University
Your country needs you to participate in democracy. The Presidency of the United States may be decided by your vote.
Issues like Iraq, the economy, healthcare and Social Security may not seem relevant to your life today, but they will have a very real effect on you, your friends and your family for years to come. Unfortunately, young adults often do not take the time to exercise their right to vote. In fact, in 2000, only 36 percent of eligible 18-24 year olds in Pennsylvania voted, compared to a national average of 42 percent. It is time to change those numbers for the better. You can do that by voting on November 2, 2004. Your vote is your voice. Make it heard on Election Day.
The Pennsylvania Department of State wants to help you exercise your vote. As part of our groundbreaking Ready. Set. Vote. initiative, we developed a student Voter’s Guide. You can find the guide on our online voter information center at www.votespa.com. It is filled with information on voting procedures. You can also call our voter information hotline at 1.877.VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772).
If you are a first time voter or voting at a polling place for the first time, please remember to bring identification with you. Approved identification forms range from a driver’s license to a current bank statement. If you cannot produce identification or your name is not on the voter list, request a provisional ballot. Complete details on these procedures can be found in our Voter’s Guide at www.votespa.com.
If you plan to vote by absentee ballot, your county board of elections must receive your application by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 26 and you must return your absentee ballot to your county board of elections by 5 p.m. on Friday, October 29. For an absentee ballot application and county contact information visit www.votespa.com.
Every election is important. But you must vote on November 2nd to make sure your voice is heard. Polls open at 7 a.m. More importantly, they are open until 8 p.m., in case you sleep in.
Pedro A. Corts
Secretary of the Commonwealth