The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
By Grace McNally, Staff Writer • June 13, 2024
Opinion | Long-distance friendships are possible
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • June 6, 2024

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Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
By Grace McNally, Staff Writer • June 13, 2024
Opinion | Long-distance friendships are possible
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • June 6, 2024

Editorial: Remember, today is your last chance for Pa. voter registration

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In case you haven’t heard it enough times from the people lining just about every corner in Oakland: You have to vote for your opinion to matter on Election Day. And in order to do that, you have to register.

Today, Oct. 11, is the final day for Pennsylvania residents to register to vote in the presidential election this November. Whether you need to update your address or change your political party association, time is running out, and there’s never been a more important time for Pennsylvania’s voters to turn out. Registration is worth more than the five minutes it requires.

You really have no excuse: The path to registration is available online, by mail or in person. Pennsylvania’s Department of State provides a simple form requiring only basic information such as address and license or ID number. You can also take a trip to the nearest county elections office — locations are available on a searchable map on votespa.com.

Physical registration forms must be sent to a county elections office and postmarked by today — which means envelopes should reach a post office by the early afternoon at the latest. Luckily, USPS has an office right by campus at 347 South Bouquet St.

Don’t just plan to cast your vote — plan to cast your vote here.

Rather than update their registration to reflect a dorm room address or temporary apartment, many college students choose to vote by absentee ballot. While that’s a perfectly valid approach to political expression, the truth is that many planning to take this step forget to actually do so. Registering in Pittsburgh means you can vote on Election Day rather than spend stamps and time mailing forms to overwhelmed elections offices — and you can change your address online in less than five minutes.

Voting in Allegheny County means your vote may play a larger role in the presidential race than most other parts of the country.

Allegheny County, with its mix of blue-collar workers and growing millennial population, is hotly contested by both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. As far back as May, polling outlets including FiveThirtyEight speculated that Pennsylvania may be the deciding state of the race, and both CNN and Politico have labeled Allegheny County in particular as a key battleground. Those predictions stem largely from Pittsburgh being, like most urban areas, heavily Democratic, while the county as a whole hosts the state’s largest Republican concentration, according to Politico.

It’s easy to fall into apathy and depression over how intellectually hollow this election season has been, but this is an opportunity to help decide what tone the U.S. government’s next four years will take.

Abstention from Election Day is at least a political decision. It’s a poor one, but at least it involves making a choice. Not participating out of laziness devalues the ideals of whichever part of the political spectrum you call home.

Regardless of which candidate you support, getting out to vote is a civic responsibility that is impossible to fulfill if, after today, you remain unregistered.

All of the frustration expressed across social media or dinner tables is worth nothing if polling places are empty on the first Tuesday of November.

Make this long, embarrassing national struggle worth something, and show up.

About the Contributor