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In Pennsylvania, today is the last day to register to vote or update your voter registration before the Nov. 8 midterm election.
You have until midnight to register to vote.
In the 2020 General Election, which included the presidential race, 71 percent of Pennsylvanians cast their ballots. Meg Pierce — executive director of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania — said the state saw a huge surge in participation in the 2020 presidential election.
Then the numbers dipped a little in 2021. But Pierce predicted a high turnout again this November.
“Some (Pennsylvania senate) positions are open, and all of the Pennsylvania House positions are open,” said Pierce. “So there’s a lot on the ballot, and there’s a lot to care about and research. So, we are anticipating a very high turnout because of the races that are on the ballot this November.”
Local races of interest
In the Mon-Yough area, voters will elect state representatives in the 35th, 38th and 39th districts.
In the 35th District, State Rep. Austin Davis of McKeesport, a Democrat, is being challenged by Republican Don Nevills of Clairton. Davis is also running for lieutenant governor and, if elected to both seats, will be forced to give up one of them.
In the 38th District, State Rep. Nick Pisciottano, Democrat of West Mifflin, is running unopposed for re-election.
In the 39th District, Republican Andrew Kuzma and Democrat Rick Self are vying to replace incumbent state Rep. Mike Puskaric, a Republican.
Voters also will be choosing a new representative to the U.S. House.
U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle of Forest Hills, a Democrat, is retiring. Summer Lee, Democrat of Swissvale, and Mike Doyle — no relation — a Republican from Plum, are competing for his position. Lee is currently a state representative for the 34th District, while Doyle is a Plum Borough councilman.
Lee and U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle have accused Plum’s Doyle of attempting to confuse voters, a charge that the Republican has denied.
Statewide, voters also will be electing a new governor of Pennsylvania and a new U.S. senator.
Vote-by-mail deadline is approaching
Pierce said that in order to vote by mail, you must request a mail-in ballot through Nov. 1, and your ballot must be received by your county election office by Nov. 8.
In August, Pennsylvania’s mail-in voting law was upheld by the state Supreme Court, a decision that allows the more than 8.7 million registered voters to vote by mail in the November midterms, as well as in future elections.
Pierce said despite some misinformation being circulated right now about the election, it’s important that people know their vote matters — and it will count.
She adds there are a lot of critical issues on the ballot that elected officials — who are essentially interviewing for a job right now — will affect.
“If you care about protecting our democratic institutions,” said Pierce, “if you care about things like abortion access, climate justice, gun safety, public education funding — how you vote in this November election will have profound implications for Pennsylvania, and where and how we make progress on those issues.”
Pierce said the LWV’s website Vote411.org is designed to be a one-stop, non-partisan place for election information.
Residents can check their voter registration status, find their polling place or request a mail-in ballot. By entering a mailing address, they can also see a guide to the specific races on their ballot, along with candidate information.
Tube City Almanac contributed to this report.
Support for this reporting was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Danielle M. Smith is a producer for Public News Service, where this story first appeared. An award-winning radio journalist/personality with more than a decade of experience in broadcast media, she is a former audio journalist with American Urban Radio Networks and Sheridan Broadcasting Networks who also hosts a weekly community affairs show “Good News” on WGBN (1360 AM/98.9 FM).
Originally published October 24, 2022.