Robbie and I have decided to lobby our issue on a state level, so we need to contact our elected State officials. We each have different district representatives, but have decided to write an e-mail together to the Governor. Ed Rendell is the current Governor, yet it has not escaped our notice that he will shortly be replaced by Tom Corbett. We may end up contacting them both, as well as our district representatives, just to be sure.
In a previous post I listed my District Representatives. There has been a recent change:- Vincent J. Hughs- Pamela A. Delissio
I realize e-mails are not a very direct way of contacting officials, especially with everything they must get. We might also form a facebook page for people to support and “like.” That would draw more attention from other people. However, I think an e-mail is a good first step, especially if we send a bunch. Here is our e-mail:
Dear [Governor Rendell,]
We are writing to discuss the current voting system on both a National and State level. As young adults, we are new to the voting process, and concerned with voter turnout. We believe that voter turnout is significantly tied to voting accessibility. Analyzing the PA voting system, as well as contrasting it with that of others, we have developed a few suggestions for improvement. Respectfully, we hope you will take them into due consideration.
State Elections are held on the same day as National election, the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November. Most people are not aware why voting is held on this day, but we are. Tuesday was nationally standardized as (Vice-) Presidential election day in 1845 by law, and smaller elections followed suit. It was designated as such for reasons that are not applicable today. That Tuesday was meant to be convenient for citizens of the time, and chosen because it would not interfere with any religious observances and was the day before market day. Due to the fact that it took so long to travel, most people were already in town.
However, this method is completely outdated and no longer serves the practical function that it did in 1845. Voter turnout is suffering. When a system allows for more lenience, people will respond. In the 2002 general election, Pennsylvania was ranked 40th in voter turnout, whereas Oregon ranked 6th. Oregon utilizes mail-in voting, a much more flexible system.
Recently, several states have either adopted or introduced voting reform. One example in particular stood out to us. San Francisco just passed a piece of legislation, “Proposition 1,” which would enable polls to open on the Saturday preceding. Those who found it inconvenient to vote during the day Tuesday, could instead vote on the weekend. New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg responded enthusiastically with his own support and own proposal. He wants to include early voting to make the system more flexible. Pennsylvania could work in a likewise manner. If Pennsylvania adopted a similar policy, voter turnout would improve greatly.
It would behove our State to have a voter system like this, and it would make voting for both us and the general public a much easier process. Consider suggesting this plan, and PA will be grateful.
Robbie and I are humorously wondering if we will receive an email back from a real person, or a generic “thank you concerned citizen.” We’ll see. Best of luck.