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Random Thoughts: Make it to the polls on May 21

April 26, 2013

A laugh a day should be part of everyone's makeup, but sometimes, the serious stuff has to intervene to make life interesting.

Many times this column will go for the laugh — if only for the month — but even the mundane has to creep in sometimes. This is one of those times.

May is a great month for fun and frolic with Mother's Day and Memorial Day, but for Pennsylvanians, there comes a day for thought and serious consideration.

Some of you, of course, will say that day will never come. Why? Some never vote, or if they do, it is only when they think the election is an important one. Well, we can stop right there. Hate to break it to you folks, but every election is an important one.

No president this year, no senator, no biggies. Guess what, folks? Your neighbors who are running for office are the big ones, the important ones. The locals here in town give us all direction every day.

They need our consideration, and that means accord them the satisfaction that someone cares enough to get up from the sofa or away from the computer or off the telephone and vote.

The 26th amendment to the Constitution, which was ratified in 1971, lowered the voting age from 21 years old to 18 years old. Back in 1920, the Constitution in the 19th amendment said the right to vote cannot be denied because of gender.

That meant nationwide suffrage to women came about in the fact that women now could vote. The fact that race was no bar to voting came about in 1870 with the ratification of the 15th amendment.

All in all, this means there is little excuse not to vote. Even being overseas or on vacation can afford you an absentee ballot.

The 2013 voting day for all Pennsylvanians comes Tuesday, May 21.

Many people think that the important election only comes around every four years when we vote in a new president or, in this past year, re-elect someone.

Those who are running for office here in Punxsutawney and Jefferson County think this is an important year. Some want to be elected because it is their full-time, everyday job. For others, it is a volunteer commitment.

There are county row offices up for grabs.

And in Punxsutawney, we need a new mayor. Several positions are up for grabs on both borough council and the school board.

The object is to put the mark next to the person best qualified to have the position.

"Oh, my, I don't know anything about that person."

Well, folks, you should, because all of these people are your neighbors. No, you are right, that does not make your neighbor or your friend the best person to fill any of these seats, but even if you think everyone on the ballot isn't worth voting for, that does not excuse you from voting.

To vote is a privilege, and it is the right of every American.

The really important thing to remember here is that the people you elected are the ones who will determine how the community solves it problems, how the county will prosper and how the school board will help to educate our children.

No person with a single agenda should reach the winner's circle.

The winners have to be people who have all of us in mind. Maybe we can't always make that happen, but one thing is for sure — it cannot happen if one doesn't vote.

Some federal candidates have made it to office without the vote of the people. Some may remember that Gerald Ford became president in 1974 following the resignation of Richard Nixon who, by the way, was the only person to resign that high office.

Some have become president not by the popular vote of the people but by the electoral college, namely, George W. Bush.

Same thing happened to Grover Cleveland when he tried to be re-elected following his first term.

The House of Representatives gave us Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams and Rutherford B. Hayes, who was voted in as president by a single vote.
This month's teaser: How is the fall election date determined?

Last month there was no teaser through a miscue.

Well, we have to repeat that one again which, as luck has it, two for the price of one. Oh, where did I hear that one before?

Last month's question was to be about the earliest we can celebrate Easter and the latest we celebrate that day.

One of them came about just a few several years ago. Hey, why keep you in suspense. Since this was last month's teaser, let's just give you the answer now.

The earliest we celebrate Easter is March 23 and the latest is April 25. We saw that earlier date on March 23, 1913, and again in 2008.

The late one was in 1943, but the next late date does not come until April 25, 2038.

Did you know any of this? Well, now you do.

Roberta Dinsmore can be reached at randomrmd@yahoo.com.

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