Vot­ers will fi­nally get last say in elec­tion

There is a lot at stake for vot­ers on Tues­day, even out­side the gru­el­ing pres­i­den­tial con­test.

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE -

Give Don­ald Trump credit for this: He has laid down the gaunt­let and is­sued a chal­lenge to vot­ers.

For weeks the Repub­li­can nom­i­nee for pres­i­dent has been telling us the sys­tem is “rigged,” how that is the only rea­son he could lose to Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton.

Or at least that was his lament a week ago when he was trail­ing in the polls. To­day, with some polls now call­ing the race a dead heat and Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton still awash in email woes, Trump is not talk­ing so much about how the sys­tem is stacked against him.

Now it’s time for vot­ers to take Trump up on his chal­lenge.

It’s time to de­cide if Amer­ica will elect its first woman pres­i­dent, or an­other kind of first, a po­lit­i­cal out­sider who vows to de­liver what the masses have called for: Change.

The end line is in sight. With two days left in what at times has seemed like an end­less slog of one neg­a­tive com­mer­cial after an­other, it’s time to make sure you vote mat­ters.

You do that by ex­er­cis­ing your con­sti­tu­tional right. You vote. Don’t be swayed by those who in­sist the sys­tem is “rigged.” The only per­son who can “rig” the sys­tem is you — by tun­ing out, stay­ing away, and wast­ing your pre­cious con­sti­tu­tional right.

Voter fraud is an ugly term. It strikes at the heart of our demo­cratic sys­tem.

In Delaware County, there are con­cerns be­ing raised about the work of a group aligned with the Demo­cratic Party and some of those they reg­is­tered to vote. County Repub­li­can of­fi­cials held a press con­fer­ence Fri­day and vowed to chal­lenge thou­sands of those reg­is­tra­tions in court. We don’t blame them a bit. Both par­ties added vot­ers to their rolls in an­tic­i­pa­tion of this crit­i­cal pres­i­den­tial elec­tion year, but while Repub­li­cans added a solid 16,808 new vot­ers, Demo­cratic ranks bal­looned by more than 30,000.

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tues­day. All vot­ers in line by 8 p.m. will be per­mit­ted to vote.

Typ­i­cally, the largest crowds show up at the polls be­fore work, be­tween 7 and 9 a.m. and after work at 5 p.m., voter ser­vices of­fi­cials say. By law, polling places must stay open to ac­com­mo­date vot­ers in line by 8 p.m.

There is a lot at stake on Tues­day, even out­side the gru­el­ing, ugly, neg­a­tive don­ny­brook that will pro­duce the next pres­i­dent.

Con­trol of both houses of Congress is up for grabs. Penn­syl­va­nia hap­pens to be Ex­hibit A in the bat­tle for the Se­nate, with Repub­li­can in­cum­bent Pat Toomey locked in a dead heat with Demo­cratic chal­lenger Katie McGinty.

We’ll also elect mem­bers of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Some South­east­ern Penn­syl­va­nia races of note: In Dis­trict 2, Demo­crat Dwight Evans is run­ning against Repub­li­can James Jones. In Dis­trict 6, Demo­crat Mike Par­rish is run­ning against in­cum­bent Repub­li­can Ryan Costello. In Dis­trict 7, Demo­crat Mary Ellen Balchu­nis is run­ning against in­cum­bent Repub­li­can Pa­trick Mee­han. In Dis­trict 8, Demo­crat Steve San­tasiero is run­ning against Repub­li­can Brian Fitz­patrick. In Dis­trict 13, Demo­crat in­cum­bent Bren­dan Boyle is run­ning un­op­posed.

One thing is cer­tain be­fore any votes are counted on Tues­day — the next Penn­syl­va­nia at­tor­ney gen­eral will come from Mont­gomery County. Vot­ers will elect a new at­tor­ney gen­eral to re­place dis­graced Demo­crat Kath­leen Kane, who is pris­on­bound. Mont­gomery County Com­mis­sioner Josh Shapiro, a Demo­crat, and state Sen. John C. Raf­ferty Jr., a Repub­li­can, are run­ning to be the state’s next top law-en­force­ment of­fi­cer.

There also are sev­eral bal­lot ques­tions, the big­gest be­ing a cu­ri­ously worded mea­sure that would al­low Penn­syl­va­nia judges to stay on the bench un­til they reach age 75, as op­posed to the 70-yearold thresh­old to­day. We urge vot­ers to re­ject that mea­sure. Pro­po­nents have failed to pro­vide ad­e­quate jus­ti­fi­ca­tion to change the state con­sti­tu­tion to keep judges around longer.

But most of all we urge them to make a state­ment. The sys­tem is not “rigged.” It works fine. So long as vot­ers don’t rig things them­selves by not tak­ing part in the process.

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