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The three categories of eligible voters: AVs, SVs, and NVs

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Uncle Sam wants YOU! So does Pennsylvania. So does Bucks County.

They want you to vote in the critically important upcoming midterm election on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Our Democracy is in the balance. A recent NBC poll indicated that the top issues on the minds of registered voters are the threats facing our democracy.

We are being bombarded with misinformation and disinformation. We are struggling with very serious issues, including the economy, climate change, abortion, guns, etc. On Nov. 8, ‘We, the People’ of Pennsylvania will be deciding whom we want as governor and lieutenant governor, as one of our two U.S. senators, as all of our 17 representatives in the U.S. Congress, as half (25) of the members of the state Senate and as all 203 state representatives! Yikes!

Here is a chance for major changes in policy. Bucks is a swing county within our battleground state of Pennsylvania; as such, Bucks votes will impact the entire country. The key question is which of the alternative candidates for each position will best preserve and protect our democracy? An election this important should be decided by, ideally, every eligible voter.

There are three categories of eligible voters – those who essentially always vote (AV), those who sometimes vote (SV) – usually only in presidential elections – and those who never vote (NV). We American citizens have extensive opportunities and freedoms, and only a few important responsibilities – to obey our laws, support our family as best we can, pay our taxes, and vote. How is it that so many do not vote?

The AVs vote in both presidential and mid-term elections because they believe it is their duty and privilege and/or they want to have a say and/or they are strongly affiliated with a political party and/or they are especially angry about a particular issue (think abortion; guns).

The SVs typically vote only in presidential elections, because they don’t believe state and local elections are important. They are mistaken. Arguably, what happens at the state level, e.g., abortion policy, gun safety laws and education policies, and at the local level, e.g., school policies, taxes, zoning, is as important to our day-to-day lives as what happens nationally.

The NVs have never voted. Why? Do they lack knowledge and confidence? There is ample help to walk citizens through the process. For starters, they can go to the League of Women Voters websites (lwvbc.org and vote411.org). If they have questions, they can call a representative of the LWV at 215-230-9986 or send an e mail to lwvbuckspa@gmail.com

Do the NVs think their single vote doesn’t matter? They are mistaken. They have the same amount of influence, through their vote, as the vote of the rich and powerful. Furthermore, election outcomes are frequently very close. For example, In the recent Bucks County elections, school board and township supervisor outcomes were decided by fewer than 10 votes.

To our AVs – thank you for your service. You can further serve by talking to people you know who are SVs and NVs; help them to understand the importance of voting and guide them to useful sources of information.

To our SV ‘s – commit to becoming an AV, beginning with the upcoming November 2022 midterm election.

To our NVs-- join us. Register to vote now. (Go to vote.pa.gov or vote411.org.) You will not be sorry. (However, you may be sorry if you don’t vote.)

To all eligible voters: research the candidates, using trusted media sources. Two places to start online are vote411.org and spotlightpa.org. The former is a complete voter’s guide from the League of Women Voters, including the positions of various candidates and links to their websites. You can also register to vote, find the location of your polling place, and check the status of your registration on this site. The latter is a non-partisan journalism site currently providing extensive election coverage, including a new series called “One Vote, Two Pennsylvanias,” articulating the vastly different visions the candidates for Pa. governor have for the future of our state.

May the NVs and the SVs all become AVs.

The League of Women Voters of Bucks County is a non-partisan organization dedicated to providing voter education and services and advocating for issues. We envision a democracy were every person has the desire, the right, the knowledge and the confidence to participate.

League of Women Voters of Bucks County

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