New Castle News


May 20, 2014

Our Opinion: Make sure your voice is heard by casting ballot today

NEW CASTLE — If you have already voted in today’s Pennsylvania Primary, good for you.

If not, the polls close at 8 p.m. and the clock is ticking.

Turnout — typical for primaries — is expected to be low. One big reason is the relatively few contests actually on the ballot.

But here and there, voters have reasons to make selections. Most visible is the race for governor among Democrats. Candidates Rob McCord, Katie McGinty, Allyson Schwartz and Tom Wolf are vying to challenge Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in November.

Polls suggest Corbett is vulnerable. So whoever Democrats choose could make a big difference. That fact along ought to spur Democrats to the polls today.

And in the 12th District for Congress — which includes the southern tier of Lawrence County — two Democrats are seeking to challenge incumbent Republican Keith Rothfus in the fall. They are John Hugya and Erin McClelland.

For Republicans, there are also choices — at least in some areas. In the 9th Legislative District, covering New Castle and the surrounding area, two candidates, Gary J. Cangey and Gregory E. Michalek, are competing to face Rep Chris Sainato in the fall.

And in the 17th District of the state House — which covers a portion of northern Lawrence County — five Republican candidates are hoping to replace Rep. Michele Brooks, who is running for state Senate in Mercer County. They are David George Biros, Ed Franz, Patrick Gehrlein, Gary J. Temple and Parke Wentling. Two Democrats, Wayne E. Hanson and Dennis P. Webber, are on the ballot for this race as well.

When it comes to clout, primaries often provide voters with the best bang for their balloting buck. Low turnout means those who do show up at the polls have greater influence. Their votes count for more.

So if you want to make a different in the electoral system, today is a good day to do it.

And as we have pointed out in the past, even if there is no contest for a ballot position, it still makes sense to go to the polls and vote. By casting a ballot, a voter shows politicians he or she cares. That sends the message to office holders and candidates that such people can’t be taken for granted.

But more than that, voting remains the primary way all Americans can demonstrate their interest in citizenship. While voting is a right, it is also a responsibility, a way for Americans to take charge of their own government and work to shape public policy.

So we urge you to take the time to vote today. Consider it an investment in the future of your community and your nation.

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