It’s an off-year election, so getting people to the polls might be more difficult than getting them to the dentist.
But whether you think the country is going to hell because of the Democrats or the Republicans, candidates on the fringes as opposed to in the middle, too many gun laws or not enough, the only way it’s ever going to change is if people vote for something different.
If you want to vote on Nov. 7, this year’s deadline to register is only one week away (Oct. 10). The requirements are simple:
- You must be a U.S. citizen at least one month before the next election. If you’re a citizen now or will become a citizen by the end of the week, you’re good.
- You must be a resident of Pennsylvania and the district in which you plan to vote, for 30 days before the election.
- You must turn 18 on or before Election Day.
- You need to have a Pennsylvania driver’s license or PennDOT ID card.
Simple, right? 18, Pennsylvania resident, U.S. citizen.
The easiest way to register to vote is to go online. If you aren’t sure if you’re registered, check your status here. To learn more about registering, go to the site of the Philadelphia City Commissioners.
If you want to register in person in the city, you’ve got two options, neither of which is particularly convenient if you don’t live in Center City:
The Philadelphia Voter Registration Office
520 N. Columbus Blvd
Mon – Fri, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The Philadelphia County Board of Elections
Room 142 City Hall
Mon – Fri, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Voter registration forms are also available at U.S. post offices, other state government offices, public libraries (where you can also learn about issues and candidates) and state liquor stores (where you can go after you vote to wash away the pain).
While voter fraud has been a popular topic over the past few years, the problem remains relatively small. Even after a PennDOT glitch allowed non-citizens to register, only 167 ineligible drivers did register and only 90 voted — over an 11-year period from 2006-2017. Since then, the Philadelphia City Commission has taken steps eliminate the mistakes and improve the process, although other conflicts remain, including conflicts of the Commission itself.
So really, the only excuse for not voting should be laziness. And, in that case, you get the government you deserve. Unfortunately, you’re forcing the rest of us voters to get the government you deserve.