Patricia A. O'Malley

Social Policy & Programs Consulting

Training and Services for agencies working toward social and economic justice

​Patricia A. O'Malley
Social Policy & Programs Consulting    ~    Community Matters
P.O. Box 97803    ~    Pittsburgh, PA  15227   ~    412-310-4886    ~
Copyright Patricia A. O'Malley    ~    All rights reserved
Established 1993​

Make Sure You’re Registered to Vote
Honor those who fought for you.
​September 19, 2019


Most people know that one vote can decide an election.  But they don’t believe that one candidate can make a difference in their lives.  They’re probably right, and that’s why many don’t vote.  But a bundle of good legislators can make that difference.

The original US Constitution didn’t say much about voting.  The founders left the rules and mechanics up to the states.  And then they found that most Americans couldn’t vote.  So Congress and the states adopted five constitutional amendments over 101 years, extending voting rights to minorities, women, 18 to 21-year-olds, and residents of the District of Columbia.  They abolished poll taxes.

But that wasn’t enough.  Even after the 15th amendment allegedly extended voting rights to non-white men, Southern racists still barred black people from voting.  And then Americans of all races, religions, and incomes gathered in Selma Alabama in 1965.  They organized.  They marched.  They fought.  They were attacked. 

Some of them died.

They did those things to extend voting rights to ALL American adults. 

They did it for you.

If you want to vote in the election on November 5, you must meet your state’s registration rules and deadline.   You can find that information, or verify that you’re already registered,  at

If you've moved since you last voted, you must register again at your new address.

Some states are removing eligible voters from their lists because they don’t want certain types of people – poor, elderly, minorities, students, etc. – to vote.  So it’s especially important to verify your registration, even if you have successfully voted in the past.  If you have been eliminated, you’ll still have time to register again.

Requirements to vote in Pennsylvania

  • Be a U.S. citizen for at least one month before the election.
  • Be a resident of Pennsylvania and your election district for at least 30 days before the election.
  • Be at least 18 years old no later than Election Day.  November 6 is too late. 

Registration forms must be postmarked by, or IN THE ALLEGHENY COUNTY ELECTION OFFICE,

no later than 5:00 PM, Monday, October 7, 2019.

Get voter registration forms at many government offices, state liquor stores, community organizations, and the
Allegheny County Elections Division
604 County Office Building  •  542 Forbes Avenue  •  Pittsburgh PA 15219
Phone: 412-350-4500  •  Fax: 412-350-5697

Homeless people CAN vote. They need an address. They don’t need a residence. 
They can use a shelter, community organization, friend, relative, or any other address

with permission.

You can register online and verify your voter registration status online at

2019 is an off-cycle year.  That means that there are no federal offices at stake. 
The presidential election is next year, 2020.

On November 5, many local offices are on the ballot – mayors, city councils, school boards, local judges, etc.  These elections traditionally have the lowest voter turnout.  But they’re still very important. 

They all have a great deal of influence over your life.

Pennsylvania’s ballot will include a referendum asking voters whether they approve a state constitutional amendment expanding the rights of crime victims.

If you don’t know for whom you should vote, now is the time to do some research.   For objective information on candidates’ voting records and positions, go to Votesmart or On the Issues.  Votesmart has information on every candidate for every race – local, state, and national – in the US.  Ontheissues compares candidates’ public statements with their voting records and has background information on dozens of issues.  

You can also watch the debates, visit the candidates’ own websites, attend campaign events like rallies and town meetings, and read in-depth news coverage and voters’ guides.  In the end, vote for the candidates who reflect your views most closely.  No single candidate will be perfect, but you know what’s important to you. 

State voting laws vary. 

You can find Allegheny County voting information at the link below.

The candidates and parties hide this information from you. 

So please feel free to print it and share it widely. 

For information on other locations, go to

People died protecting your right to vote. 

Don’t let them down.

2019 Allegheny County General Election Voting Information
Proposed Constitutional Amendment:  Crime Victims’ Rights
Allegheny County Elections Office  
Register and Verify Online  Voting and Elections
Federal Voting Assistance Program
U.S. Constitution
Community Matters:  Voting and Elections

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