With Election Day right around the corner, you may find yourself thinking of the times you've heard phrases like, "One vote doesn't matter" or "Voting doesn't make a difference." Before you decide to stay home on November 6, consider these reasons to vote.
Your Vote = Your Voice: Taxes too high? Financial aid too low? Your vote is your way of telling those with power what you believe in. Speak up! If the country is headed where you want it to go, vote for an incumbent. If you want to see change, vote for a challenger.
Voting is easy: Voting takes about as long as a coffee run. Get to your poling place, punch in your choices and you're on your way.
Vote because you can: If for no other reason, vote because it is one of your rights. There are citizens of other countries who would give their lives for the right to cast a ballot.
One vote does matter: In 1960, Richard Nixon would have taken office instead of John F. Kennedy if just one more person in each polling place had voted for him. Five hundred and thirty seven Florida voters decided the 2000 presidential election by voting for George Bush instead of Al Gore. Still think one vote doesn't matter?
And, remember, it's not just about the president. Maybe you don't agree with the stances of the presidential candidates. What about the 33 Senate seats up for grab? If you live in Pennsylvania (or any state it borders) you have the opportunity to send someone to Washington and can help confirm the Senate majority in your favor. All 435 House seats will be decided this year, too.
Changes in voter ID law
If you've been tuned into the news lately, you may have heard about something called the "Voter ID Law." The law states if you're planning to vote in Pennsylvania, you'll need a valid ID.
For many, this isn't an issue. As long as you bring your driver's license or state-issued identification card, you'll be able to vote. Other acceptable IDs can be found online. Each of these IDs must include your name, photograph, and an expiration date. NOTE: Because standard Clarion University IDs don't have an expiration date, they are not acceptable voter IDs.
If you don't have an acceptable form of ID, don't panic. There is time to obtain one before Election Day. Renew your ID: If you simply need to renew your expired driver's license or state-issued ID, you can do so by logging onto PennDOT's website and following the steps for renewal.
There are two ways to obtain a new ID at no cost:
1. If you choose to obtain a state-issued ID card, simply visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles with proof of citizenship and two proofs of residency. The $13.50 fee will be waived if you do not already have an acceptable voter ID.
2. You can also obtain an acceptable ID through Clarion University. In an effort to make it easier for students to vote, Clarion University will be providing new ID cards with an expiration date for those without an alternative form of ID. Led by President Karen Whitney and in support of civic engagement goals, Clarion wants every one of its eligible students to vote this election. These IDs will be made free-of-charge for students who do not have another acceptable form.
Get an acceptable voter ID at Clarion
What you need to do:
Go to 236 Egbert Hall. Egbert is located across from Carlson Library.
Ask for a voter ID card.
Show any photo ID (your Clarion University photo ID will suffice).
Sign the statement indicating you do not currently possess an acceptable photo ID to vote in Pennsylvania.
You will then be presented with a voter ID card at no cost.
Note: If you have an acceptable photo ID to vote in Pennsylvania, but want to get a voter ID card, you can purchase one for $10.
Also, keep an eye out for tables in Gemmell and Eagle Commons with voter registration packets.
Remember: This upcoming election is a chance for your voice to be heard and for you to make a difference. Voting is your right, but it is up to you to claim it.