The Primary Election filing period for candidates came to a close this week and there are several local races York County voters will be considering.

There are also partisan races for state and federal seats in which we will have the ability to vote.

Typically and historically, the number of registered voters in York County floats around the 9,500 mark.

Consider the fact that York County’s population lingers around the area of 14,000. Yes, some of those people are children who aren’t old enough to vote.

But there are still a lot of people out there who can’t participate in making important decisions because they simply haven’t registered to vote.

Two years ago, during the Primary Election, only 22 percent of the registered voters in York County, numbering only 2,172, cast a ballot. Only 22 percent of the less than 10,000 registered people in the county made those important decisions in the Primary Election.

I think we can do better.

People say they don’t have time to register to vote or they don’t know how. It literally takes a few minutes and the workers at the York County Clerk’s office and adjoining election commission office will walk you through it. I guarantee it is relatively painless and hardly time consuming. They are located on the main floor of the courthouse. Just stop in and they will help you. It’s easy.

Then when it comes to actually voting, I heard some people say during the last election cycle that they didn’t have time to go to the polls on Election Day and now there are people saying they probably won’t have time to do it in May. Well, the polls will be open for 12 hours. And the last time I voted, I timed it. It literally took me four minutes and 11 seconds to walk from the entrance of the auditorium to my ward, say my name, sign my name, go to a booth, mark the ovals and hand it in. I even chatted with two people along the way.

Yes, some people are physically unable to go on Election Day. That’s why they created this thing called early voting. All registered voters have the ability to vote by going to the clerk’s office at the courthouse. You can do it right now. You can also request a ballot that you can mail in.

I’ve heard some people say their votes don’t matter anyway. Well, they do. There are often super close races that are decided by a small number of ballots . . . and in the big races, all those ballots add up to important final results.

I’ve heard some people say they don’t know anyone running for anything, they don’t know what certain positions are responsible for and “politics just isn’t their thing.” That’s too bad because these people are making paramount decisions on our behalf. Politics doesn’t have to be your thing – matter of fact, taking the politics out of it all is a good idea. Just by being taxpayers, we are already involved . . . gosh, don’t you want to have a say?

I’m sorry for the preaching. I really am. I just don’t want anyone to think they don’t have a say in how our cities, villages, school districts, counties, state and nation are run.

We all have a chance to make a difference.

And when it comes to the acts of registering and voting, I just think we can do better.

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