Most of us will never get into the Baseball Hall of Fame or the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But there is one hall of fame within the reach of many Pennsylvanians.
Over the past 37 years, the
Pennsylvania Voter Hall of Fame has honored about 24,000 civic-minded men and women in our commonwealth who have racked up remarkable voting records. On Sept. 20, Westmoreland County inducted the hall of fame's 117 newest members.
So how do you become eligible to join this elite group of good citizens? In theory, it's simple. But the execution requires discipline and a long-term commitment. You must cast a ballot in every November general election for at least 50 consecutive years.
That means going to the polls every year, even when it's inconvenient. There can be many obstacles on the path to a lifelong voting record, including inclement weather, illness and busy Election Day schedules.
In our experience, bad weather is one of the most common deterrents to voting. Like postal workers, future PA Voting Hall of Fame members must be willing to brave snow, rain and gloom of night to let their voice be heard.
Thomas Paine, an activist for American independence during the Revolutionary War, noted that "what we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value."
On the plus side, voting doesn't take long, and it's the most basic and fundamental means that citizens have to participate in our democracy and help determine the country's future.
Voters who stay the course and cast a ballot in every election will be rewarded with a profound sense of accomplishment.
They will be a role model and inspiration to younger members of their family. Their name will be inscribed forever in the PA Voter Hall of Fame. And they will honor, in the best way possible, the memories of all those brave Americans who sacrificed their health, freedom, and sometimes their very lives, for our precious right to vote.
If you, or someone you know, qualifies for induction into the Voter Hall of Fame, please
download the membership application or contact your
county elections office. We want every eligible Pennsylvanian to be recognized and honored for their steadfast good citizenship.
To find out who is already a member, or how many members come from your county, use the Department of State's
Voter Hall of Fame search feature. You can search by name or county.
To read more about the struggle for voting rights in this country, take a look at two recent
Simply Stated blog posts on
women's suffrage and
Honor the legacy of past patriots and build your own legacy by voting in every election, every year, for the rest of your life.