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South Williamsport, PA
United States

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This Week’s LION: You – The Voter

Lycoming County is now just seven weeks away from the May 21st primary. Those with decades of political background in this area claim that this might be one of the most important primary elections in many years. Consider that all three county commissioners, the county row officers, the district attorney, Court of Common Pleas judges,

Lycoming County is now just seven weeks away from the May 21st primary. Those with decades of political background in this area claim that this might be one of the most important primary elections in many years. Consider that all three county commissioners, the county row officers, the district attorney, Court of Common Pleas judges, Williamsport city mayor, four city council members, as well as our US congressional representative will all be on the ballot this year. Though these do not have the hot buzz of a presidential primary, these individuals will impact the county in a much more direct way. We will be voting on the future of Lycoming County.

Seven weeks might seem like a long time, but for a voter who wants to make an informed decision, it is not much time at all. Consider the race for county commissioners for example. There are nine candidates (which includes the two incumbents) running on the Republican ballot alone. There are even four Republican candidates running for the position of prothonotary. Now, if we are honest about it, probably less than one person out of ten (maybe even in a hundred) could explain what a prothonotary does. So, how would a voter choose between four individuals who are running for the office?

Here are three suggestions for the Lycoming County voter to take in preparation for the May 21st primary.

1. LEARN

Almost every candidate has some public information about them. It may be from their own website or promotional literature, and it may be from outside sources. These should serve as background and not gospel. Everyone has their own criteria to judge candidates — some look for experience, others value education and others like an outsider who would shake up the status quo. But without learning about the candidates, all the voter is doing is guessing or going by hearsay.

2. LISTEN

The candidates want to get their message out, and almost all are open to invitations to community events. Borough council or township supervisor meetings, fire company meetings, club meetings, etc. are all excellent forums to invite a candidate to introduce themselves.

3. LEAP

If a candidate is particularly appealing, jump in and help him or her! Put out lawn signs, pass out flyers, tell friends, etc. Getting involved on the ground floor of a campaign can be tremendously satisfying, especially for young people. Many of those who serve in office admit to getting their start this way. It also applies to senior citizens who are the other side of the spectrum. It is a way to make a difference. And that is the beauty of democracy — every single one of us can make our mark.

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