PA State Department proposes to increase participation in elections
There is little to be done throughout Pennsylvania for the primary elections that will define who will be the candidates from each party that will compete to occupy judicial and executive positions in the different municipalities of the state. And, as is often the case in the election season, some of the concerns are focused on citizen participation.
Pedro Cortés, Secretary of State of Pennsylvania, spoke with AL DÍA News about the actions his office is taking to ensure that the largest number of residents exercise their right to vote in May and future days.
According to Census figures, there are approximately 12.7 million people in the state, of whom 10 million are qualified to vote but 8.3 are actually registered to exercise that right, but not all of them do so. "The commitment of Governor Tom Wolf and mine is precisely to facilitate things so that the one million seven hundred thousand people that we lack, register and participate in the electoral days," said Cortes.
For the head of the State Department, although participation in high-profile elections such as presidential elections has increased (from 67 percent in 2012 to 71 percent in 2015), there is still a long way to go before the electorate attends to the polls in their totality.
"We need reforms that facilitate the exercise of this right. For example, Pennsylvania is one of 13 states in the nation that still hinder absentee voting - which is done, for different reasons, ahead of election day and sent by mail. We need to facilitate that whoever wants to vote that way, can do it, "said Cortes.
Another proposal of Cortes is to reduce the term of inscription to the electoral census. "The idea is that voters can register even on election day. Currently, that term in Pennsylvania is at least 30 days in advance. That too is a difficulty. "
Similarly, the Pennsylvania State Department wants to modernize voting systems and qualify voters in the exercise of this fundamental right in any democracy.