SHARE Email Facebook Twitter ROUND-UP: Editorial Boards Statewide Support Launch of Online Voter Registration in Pennsylvania GO-TIME, Government That Works, Innovation, Press Release, Voting & Elections Harrisburg, PA – On August 27, Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of State Pedro Cortés announced that Pennsylvania is the latest state to launch the convenient and efficient option of registering to vote online. The online registration application, hosted by the Department of State, is now available for use by eligible citizens at register.votesPA.com. Within the first week, 5,000 applications were submitted through register.votesPA.com.Newspaper editorial boards statewide have lauded the decision. Check out some of their comments on the launch below:LNP: Editorial: No more excuses: Register (online) and vote, Pa.“Pennsylvania just made it much more convenient to register as a voter. No longer do you need to go to the Lancaster County voter registration office; no longer do you need to register by U.S. mail. Now, if you have a Pennsylvania driver’s license, or a PennDOT ID card, registering to vote will take just seconds. … (Senator) Smucker said Wolf and Cortes clearly “have the authority to implement this important innovation, and I am pleased they see the benefit of it and have succeeded in bringing it to fruition.” He said he took part in meetings with Cortes and he has “complete confidence” in the administration’s implementation of online registration. We’re glad the Wolf administration reached out to Smucker and other key lawmakers. It was the right thing to do.” [LNP, 08/30/15]Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Editorial: Democracy online: The state enters a new era in voter registration.“Registering to vote in Pennsylvania just got a lot easier… Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro Cortes announced that online registration now is possible. By day’s end, 662 people already had done so, speaking to the convenience and necessity of updating the state’s process… The addition of online registration is expected to save money in the long run, and it should appeal to younger people who have grown up in a world where they could do just about everything else in life through their electronic devices. Online voter registration at register.votesPA.com is one step in the right direction for Pennsylvania.” [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 08/30/15]Chambersburg Public Opinion: Editorial: Online voter registration’s time has come.“It’s good news that Pennsylvania has joined 22 other states in making it possible for its citizens to register to vote online using the state’s website. Gov. Tom Wolf said it best when he announced the move to bring voter registration online: It is about giving citizens an easier way to exercise their right to vote and establishing a clearer connection between the political system and the people. So welcome to the 21st century, voters. Online voter registration is an idea whose time has come, and we welcome the move to bring that task in line with many other things that can be done easily and efficiently using the Internet… Not only will it make it easier to register to vote or change your voter registration information — including party affiliation — online, but It should save government time and money that would have to be spent dealing personally with each would-be voter… Online voter registration is secure, accurate and should reduce costs for counties by cutting down on time-consuming data entry… Online registration is a welcome change from recent partisan efforts to discourage certain segments of the population from voting by making it more difficult and time-consuming. As a democracy we should be doing everything we can to make it easier for legal residents to become eligible to vote and to exercise that right on election days.” [Chambersburg Public Opinion, 09/02/15]Uniontown Herald-Standard: Editorial: Wise move.“The hope is that by making voter registration easier, more people will register and vote. It’s hard to say how many people will take advantage of the opportunity, but it certainly can’t hurt, figuring that about 2 million Pennsylvanians are eligible to vote but remain unregistered. On the first day of online voter registration last Thursday, 660 people had registered online, according to the governor’s office. It also could boost voter turnout which has been down in recent years. Consider that only 36 percent of Pennsylvania eligible to vote cast ballots in the 2014 gubernatorial election. Wonder how many of the 64 percent who didn’t bother to vote are complaining about the state budget impasse? In addition to bolstering democracy, online voter registration is also expected to save money for taxpayers as less paper will be used and less workers will be needed for the labor-intensive data entry tasks.” [Uniontown Herald-Standard, 09/02/15]Beaver County Times: Editorial: Online voter registration is win-win.“Instead of trudging down to the county election bureau to fill out a voter registration form, state residents can now sit down at their own computer, go to www.register.votespa.com and complete the form. It’s as simple as that… In addition to bolstering democracy, online voter registration is also expected to save money for taxpayers as less paper will be used and less workers will be needed for the labor-intensive data entry tasks… Let’s hope that Metcalf decides not to challenge Wolf’s action and if he does, that it’s rejected by the courts. Let’s also hope that people take advantage of the easier registration and rejuvenate our democracy by actually voting in our elections. That would be the ultimate win-win.” [Beaver County Times, 09/03/15]Scranton Times-Tribune: Editorial: Online voter registration long overdue.“Pennsylvania, 15 years into the 21st century, long has had access to technology to make voter registration easier than ever. Yet the state has 2 million unregistered but otherwise eligible voters because, until now, the political will of state leaders to expand the franchise has not been as advanced as the technology. Gov. Tom Wolf and state Secretary of State Pedro Cortés announced Thursday that Pennsylvania has become the 23rd state to provide online voter registration… Rather than filing a lawsuit, lawmakers should embrace online registration as an aspect of 21st century governance.” [Scranton Times-Tribune, 08/29/15]Reading Eagle: Editorial: Internet sign-ups should boost election participation.“We support online registration because we believe that in a democracy, it is very important that as many who are eligible to vote sign up to do so… The point here is to make sure people will be able to vote. And in the process, it actually should cost less to process an online registration form than a paper application.” [Reading Eagle, 09/02/15]# # # September 08, 2015
Indianapolis, In. — Public comment is being sought on 10 projects that will be funded through the U.S. Department of Interior’s National Park Service Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) program administered by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology (DHPA).The HPF assists publicly owned or private not-for-profit properties that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places with grant money to undertake preservation and rehabilitation activities. The investment of HPF money means the projects are considered a federal undertaking, and public comment is being sought on those projects by June 30. Those projects are:— Henry County: Ball State University will receive a grant to conduct an archaeological survey of Summit Lake State Park. A Phase Ia investigation, an investigation that includes background research and fieldwork designed to define site boundaries of unsurveyed areas, will be completed. A geophysical survey of two possible mounds and a shovel test pit survey of approximately 30 acres surrounding each mound will also be conducted (a total of about 60 acres).— Henry County: Ball State University will receive a grant to conduct the second phase of an archaeological survey of the Wilbur Wright Fish & Wildlife Area. This project will include a Phase Ia shovel test pit survey of about 52 acres of fallow agricultural land west of the Big Blue River.— Indianapolis: The McGowan Hall Knights of Columbus will receive a grant to replace the roof of McGowan Hall, constructed in 1922. The project will address the worst portions of the roof: the sections over the Grand Hall mezzanine and the Grand Hall entry vestibule.— Jeffersonville: The LifeSpring Health Systems organization will receive a grant to rehabilitate 41 windows and custom build eight storm windows for the arch top of the circa 1870 Sarkisian House.— Lafayette: Trinity United Methodist Church will receive a grant to stabilize and rehabilitate the north exterior masonry of the 1872 church.— Newburgh: The Town of Newburgh will receive a grant to rehabilitate the 1851 Preservation Hall, formerly known as Old Newburgh Presbyterian Church. The scope of the grant includes foundation, masonry, woodwork, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning rehabilitation and repair.— Peru: The Miami Nation of Indians will receive a grant to assist in replacing the roof of the former Peru High School’s gymnasium, Tig Arena. The building serves as the Miami Nation’s headquarters.— Ripley County: Ball State University will continue a Phase Ia survey of approximately 80 acres around historic homestead sites identified within Versailles State Park. A previous survey recorded 49 sites, and the project will attempt to verify the placement of the remaining 21 locations.— Rensselaer: The Jasper Newton Foundation will receive a grant to rehabilitate 63 historic windows, replace one double-hung window and preserve all the window-frame units in the Rensselaer Carnegie Library.— Saint Mary of the Woods: Saint Mary of the Woods College will receive a grant to rehabilitate the masonry, wrought iron gates, and lamp features of the 1918 main entrance gate for the Saint Mary of the Woods and Sisters of Providence campuses.These are fiscal year 2019 projects that are scheduled to begin in 2019. They must be completed by June 2020. Official grant offers have not yet been made, but DHPA anticipates having enough HPF funds to award them.To comment or make a request to be a consulting party for any of the projects, send a request to Indiana DHPA, Attn: HPF Grant Staff, 402 W. Washington St., Room W274, Indianapolis, IN 46204, or mvanaman@dnr.IN.gov. Include which project or projects you are requesting information for, and DHPA will provide scope of work, maps, and photographs.