A Journey to the Ballot Box: First-Time Voting

Written by: Summer Griffin

Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy, offering citizens the power to shape the nation’s future. Casting your first vote is a significant milestone, marking your transition into active citizenship. But how do you go about it?

Step 1: Research and Decide

The first and most crucial step in the voting process is research. Take the time to study the candidates and issues on the ballot. Discuss your views with friends and family, attend political events, or conduct in-depth research. Knowing what’s at stake is essential. In the Pennsylvania General Election for 2023, you’ll decide the candidates for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the Commonwealth Court. 

Step 2: Register to Vote

If you still need to register, don’t worry. You can use Seton Hill’s Shine app for next year’s election. To register, you must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of Pennsylvania and your election district, and at least 18 years old. Check your voter registration status through Shine. Whether you plan to vote in person or by mail, registration is a must.

Step 3: Head to the Ballot Box

Now, you’re ready for the ballot box. If you choose to mail in your ballot, take it to the Westmoreland County Election office at 2 N. Main Street, Greensburg. Are you voting in person? Visit locations like the YMCA down the hill. Use online tools to find a convenient polling place. The polls are open from 7 am to 8 pm. Don’t be discouraged by lines; this is your civic right and duty!

Step 4: Grab that sticker! 

First-time voting is a significant moment, marking your journey into active citizenship. It’s not just a right; it’s a privilege that empowers you to shape the nation’s course. The emotions, anticipation, and excitement associated with first-time voting make it a memorable experience that reinforces the importance of civic engagement and active citizenship. Whether you’ve already voted or are eagerly awaiting that day, remember that your voice matters and your vote is a powerful tool for change. Now grab that sticker!