Editorial: Seniors, register to vote ... now

With the Iowa Caucuses less than a week away, the presidential election is on the hearts and minds of millions.

Lancaster voters will head to the polls on April 26 to cast their primary ballots for United States representative, United States Senator, State Senator, several local offices, and, perhaps most notably, President of the United States. Anyone who will be 18 by that date is eligible to -- and quite honestly, has little excuse not to -- vote. To do so, one must register by March 28. Registering could not be easier.

Thanks to a new system in Pennsylvania, one can register to vote entirely online. When our editor, Ben Pontz, registered to vote last week, he reports that it took him about five minutes, and that was while he was partially distracted by watching television. Follow this link in order to register; you do not have to be 18 yet, as long as you will be by the election.

If you are a licensed driver, you will need your driver's license number in order to register. The only other information you will need to provide is rudimentary stuff you would find on virtually any other online form: address, phone number, etc.

Really, the only other important consideration is with which party -- if any -- you will register. Registering with a party does not mean you have to vote for that party's nominee in the general election, it simply determines in which primary election you will be able to vote.

If you have no great affinity for either party, consider the following:

Historically, the Republican Party has dominated Lancaster County, but in recent years, the local Democratic Party has seen increased vitality. At the local level, registering Republican will enable you to help determine the nominee in a contested primary -- often the Republicans have multiple nominees for a particular office while the Democrats may have only one. However, registering Democrat enables you to help determine a challenger to incumbent Pat Toomey in the Senate. Registering with each party has advantages and disadvantages, but the two important items to remember are:
  1. Registering with a particular party is both optional, and does not obligate you to ultimately vote for that party's nominee.
  2. If you register with one party for this election, you can register with a different party in the next election -- it is just as easy to switch parties as it is to register in the first place.

More important than with which party you register is that you register at all. America is unique in that every two years (well really every year), the citizenry has a chance to peacefully overthrow the government at the ballot box, but all too often, an apathetic electorate settles for the status quo because it fails to do the research and stand for the principles in which it believes. Decisions are made by those who show up.

Regardless of your opinions, we at LSNews.org strongly encourage all who are eligible to show up on April 26.

This editorial reflects the collective opinion of the LSNews.org editorial board, and does not constitute an official position of the Lampeter-Strasburg School District. Its lead author was editor-in-chief Benjamin Pontz. Questions or concerns can be directed to lspioneernews@gmail.com.


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