By Bri Griffith
2016 is the first presidential election where many college students will be able to vote, and that comes with a lot of responsibility. Students should research the candidates, and find out where they stand on important issues before voting, so they can make their best decision at the polls. But, before they can vote, they have to register. In Pennsylvania, a person must be registered as either a Democrat or a Republican to vote in the primaries. If you want to register as Independent or Libertarian, you lose out on voting in the primaries, which are a crucial component in deciding which candidate makes it to the November election.
Pennsylvania’s Primary Election Day is April 26th. In order to vote, you must be registered by March 28th. Registering can be done in multiple ways. You can register online, you can print a registration form and mail it to your local County Elections Manager, or you can register at PennDOT locations. Do you need to renew your license? Great, register to vote while you’re there! You will need basic information, including your address, your date of birth, your chosen party, and either your license/ID number or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
Are you a Carlow student from out of state? If you’ll be here for the primaries and the election in November, you can register to vote from your Carlow address so that you are eligible to vote in Allegheny County. Pennsylvania polls are open from 7:00am to 8:00pm on Election Day. While there, you may be asked to provide photo ID. You are not required to provide ID, but in case you choose to provide it, some valid forms of ID include your driver’s license, military ID, student ID, or passport. If you have questions about how to register or where your local polling place is, you can contact Allegheny County’s Election Division Manager Mark Wolosik at (412) 350-4500.
Voting is the most important, and often the most overlooked way to make your voice heard in this country. As college students and the future of the United States of America, you should take it upon yourself to become informed and vote. Whether you are voting for Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders, or Donald Trump, you should exercise your right to vote and your right to decide the future of the nation.