Monthly Archives: March 2016

Are YOU registered to Vote?

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The Pennsylvania primary election is going to be held on Tuesday, April 26th.
The website, VotesPA.com provides information such as a checklist to see if you are eligible to vote, as well as, a summary of the primary election process. The site also has a link to the Absentee Ballot Application. The last day to register to vote in the primary election is March 28th. The last day to apply for an absentee ballot is April 19th BUT with both dates it is best to apply as soon as possible.
OK, now what are you voting for when you vote in a Pennsylvania Presidential Primary? You are selecting delegates to attend a national convention where they will represent their party’s interests.
In Pennsylvania, we have Closed Primary Elections meaning you must be a registered either as a Democrat or a Republican to vote. If you are registered as a Democrat, you will be limited to voting for a Democratic candidate running for President. If you are registered as a Republican, your election choices will all be Republicans.
The goal of the primary election is to get an accurate representation of delegates to vote at national party conventions. When choosing delegates, the Democratic party employs a proportional system. Pennsylvania will be sending 210 delegates to the National Convention in Philadelphia in late July. If the results of the Democratic primary have 60% of the voters selecting Clinton and 40% voting for Sanders, then 126 delegates are pledged to vote for Clinton and 84 delegates will be voting for Sanders. The Republican party has a “Winner takes all” system in which if Trump receives the most votes, even if it is only 40% of the total Republican votes, he will still receive the entire number of Pennsylvania Republican delegates, which is 71.
Both parties keep close track of the primaries throughout the United States and the number of delegates who have been pledged to vote for their candidates. The Republican and Democratic Nationals Conventions are mostly ceremonial, simply ratifying the candidate who has already secured the support of a majority of delegates.
The first step in having your “voice” heard in government is to register to vote, if you have not done so already. You only need to register one time. You will need to change your registration only if you change your address, name or political party. The next step is to VOTE!