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EDITORIAL: We need a civic revival
York College students talk about the upcoming Presidential Election and who they want to win, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016.
This country needs a revival.
Not the church tent kind (not that there's anything wrong with that).
We need a civic revival. A reawakening of the spirit of civil discourse, civic responsibility and civic duty.
It's time to get voting.
Yes, we have months to go before we in Pennsylvania can vote in even a primary election.
But that makes this the perfect time to begin the process of getting more voters on the rolls.
The big dates this year are May 15 and Nov. 6, the primary election and the general election. This year, we'll be voting on a U.S. representative, a U.S. senator, a governor, a state senator and all the state representatives.
But before anyone can cast those votes, they need to register.
To be eligible to vote in the Republican or Democratic primary, you have to register as a member of one of those parties by April 16. Pennsylvania doesn't let independent or third-party voters cast a ballot in the primary election. Any citizen over the age of 18 who is not incarcerated is eligible to vote, including anyone on parole or probation.
There are a couple of ways to register to vote. Your can fill out the form online at www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/pages/VoterRegistrationApplication.aspx, and the site will submit the form to the county voter registration office for processing. You can also print out the form there and mail it to the York County Department of Elections and Voter Registration, 28 E. Market St., York 17401. Or you can stop by the office and fill out the form there.
But that's not all. The first time you vote at a polling place, you will need to show an approved ID. Photo identification that is accepted includes a driver's license, another state ID, a U.S. passport, military ID, student ID or employee ID. If you don't have a photo ID, you can show another form of ID, including a voter card, firearm permit, current utility bill or current paycheck.
If you're already registered, great! But surely you know someone who is not. Now is the time to seek them out, talk to them about their responsibilities as a citizen and help them get on the rolls.
You already do that? Wonderful! The next step is to help people who need more help. Take someone to get a photo ID so it's easier to cast a ballot. Start organizing rides for those who need help getting to their polling place.
Want to be even more involved? Pick a candidate and help with a campaign. Make your views known by calling your representatives, going to meetings and, yes, writing letters to the editor of you newspaper to email@example.com.
People in other countries stand in line for days to vote. They risk their lives to cast their ballots. Election days are celebrations of community and country and the will of the people.
We need that spirit in America again. Going to vote should be a joyful experience, and everyone should do it as often as possible. It's the bedrock of our national identity, the thought that every person can and will cast a vote and participate in our political process.
Republican, Democrat, it doesn't matter. Step up, make your voice heard at the ballot box, and make sure everyone else does too.
Can we get an amen?