Satire | 10 things more difficult than voting in the upcoming elections


Image via Valerie Hinojosa, Wikimedia Commons

With the Pennsylvania elections approaching, senior staff columnist Julia Kreutzer argues that voting is now easier than ever and lists 10 things that are harder to prove it.

By Julia Kreutzer, Senior Staff Columnist

The last day to request a mail-in or civilian absentee ballot for the elections is this Tuesday, Oct. 26. Polls open exactly one week later from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 2. You can learn more about the elections for Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, Pennsylvania Superior Court and more by inputting your registered address to find a sample ballot

Voting is the foundation of our democracy and, now, it’s easier than ever with increased access to mail-in and absentee voting. If you’re still on the fence, consider all these things that have become far more arduous than sending a ballot in the mail. 

1. Earning a feature on @Pitt.MissedConnections

Hot vax summer has come and gone, now all we’re left with is chilly, vax — or mandatory testing — midterms season. I have still yet to be featured on the Pitt Missed Connections Instagram after nearly a thousand posts where community members have anonymously submitted descriptions of their “missed connection” — a quiet classmate or person standing next to them in an elevator. Despite purposely changing my wardrobe to be easily identifiable, I evidently am still no one’s mysterious dream woman.

2. Tracking down Harry Styles on Fifth Avenue

Harry Styles’ “Love on Tour” made its stop in the Steel City on Oct. 14. Since even the lowest ticket prices were in the hundreds of dollars, students were anxious to get a mere glimpse of Harry’s glorious locks blowing in the Pittsburgh wind, whether it be on a 71D, picking up an El Jefe at Roots or strolling through Phipps. As surges of rumors of Styles’ location spread, students flocked to various spots along Forbes and Fifth avenues. My professor even ended class early as the Cathedral became overwhelmed by hordes of fans hoping not To Be So Lonely. We may not have gotten a free cameo from Harry, but I surely appreciated the spectacle.

3. Getting a table at Hem’s on a Thursday

Hemingway’s Cafe offers $5 Long Island iced tea pitchers on Thursdays … need I say more?

4. Mobile ordering at the Chipotle on Forbes

There are few meltdowns a burrito bowl cannot cure — that is, unless it is from the Chipotle at 3615 Forbes Ave. This Chipotle blows. I’ve waited almost an hour for a burrito ordered online and, according to their Yelp page, I’m not alone. Save yourself the heartache and go to Moe’s instead.

5. Getting in and out of the Cathedral

It’s unfortunate that David Craig closed his legendary era as James Bond with the premiere of No Time To Die earlier this month, because we may need 007’s help making it out of the fortress that has become the Cathedral of Learning. After lines began to extend out of the revolving doors marking the Cathedral’s entrance on Bigelow Boulevard, it was designated as solely an emergency exit. Now robbed of Cathy’s main exit, getting in and out of the Cathedral in a timely manner has become a luxury of the past.

6. Avoiding Spin scooterers

Spin scooters made their Pittsburgh debut in July 2021 as a means to increase transportation access around the City. Within a week, however, they encountered what Move PGH director Lolly Walsh called “growing pains”. Whether it’s issues with parking, road traffic or speed, the City has received more than 600 complaints. Access to transportation is absolutely an issue in Pittsburgh, but leaving hundreds of speedy death traps littered around the City seems like a solution fit only for “one of the nation’s worst cities for driving.”

7. Getting literally anywhere without construction delays

We Panthers are no strangers to construction. Who can forget the year-long shut down of  Bigelow Boulevard that resulted in … a raised crosswalk? Don’t worry, though, the construction never seems to cease! South Oaklanders can still enjoy the beautiful sights of dilapidated orange signs lining the Boulevard of the Allies ramp — our most convenient way to merge onto I-376 and make our way to other exciting construction zones — for months to come. 

8. Finding a table in Hillman amidst renovations

Speaking of construction, I’d be remiss not to mention the totally non-intrusive — albeit very exciting — reinvention of Hillman Library. This phase of the renovation alone has left us without access to floors one and two — roughly 40% of our library — for 18 months. Once the tables on the three remaining floors fill up, we’re dumb out of luck, leaving many of us heading to Cathy with more false optimism, only to find the tables are full — and escape, again, impossible. 

9. Avoiding the Pittsburgh Parking Authority 

I once got ticketed by the PPA outside of Hillman while I parked for four minutes to print out black and white photos of Taylor Swift on computer paper. Apparently, nothing is sacred. 

10. Honestly, most things

Maybe one benefit of the pandemic is the increased access to mail-in ballots to safely, securely and conveniently engage in the democratic process. You can vote by mail by requesting a ballot before Oct. 26 and mailing it with enough time to arrive by the following Tuesday. Or, you can vote in person between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Nov. 2! Voting is the easiest thing you can do to make an impact on the local and state level. If you can brave even one of the things on this list, voting will be a walk in the park.

Julia writes mostly about socio-political issues. Write to Julia at [email protected].