Written by: Our York Media

DON'T VOTE.

You heard us.

We’re tired of all the reasons people tell you why you should vote. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t vote, straight from the mouths of some of York County’s most active citizens…

Elaine Bonneau

York

"Don't vote if you think local decisions don’t affect your local community and quality of life."
Rob Myers

York Township

"Don’t vote because who needs the right to bear arms?"
Natalee Colòn

Manchester Township

"Don’t vote if you live in a bubble without any taxes or zoning issues."
Richard Craighead

York

"Don’t vote if you don’t see hope in the eyes of the youth. For your dreams become truths within those you believe."
Susan Byrnes

Springettsbury Township

"Don’t vote if you don’t care about the men and women who fought to give you that right."
Meagan Hess Given

York

"Don’t vote because it’s better to just let the older generation make decisions for us."
Elaine Bonneau

York

"Don't vote if you think local decisions don’t affect your local community and quality of life."
Rob Myers

York Township

"Don’t vote because who needs the right to bear arms?"
Natalee Colòn

Manchester Township

"Don’t vote if you live in a bubble without any taxes or zoning issues."
Richard Craighead

York

"Don’t vote if you don’t see hope in the eyes of the youth. For your dreams become truths within those you believe."
Meagan Hess Given

York

"Don’t vote because it’s better to just let the older generation make decisions for us."
Susan Byrnes

Springettsbury Township

"Don’t vote if you don’t care about the men and women who fought to give you that right."

Don’t care about what those people have to say?

Cool. We like citizens who can think for themselves. Before you go ahead and vote, though, ask yourself the following questions:

Do you travel?

Out of the country, specifically.

Yes

If you’re leaving the country, you’ll need to pick up a passport, but you’ve probably figured that out already. The Prothonotary is the office that accepts US Passport applications.

No

Even if you’re not traveling, the Prothonotary’s office handles all civil litigation, from mortgage foreclosures and divorces to child custody and personal injury cases.

Do you own a dog?

Legally, that is.

Yes

Then you need to make sure your dog is licensed. Head to the Treasurer’s office to pick up your license.

No

If you don’t have a dog, you probably don’t care that the county Treasurer handles dog licenses. The person holding the position, though, is still responsible for quite a bit, such as: processing hunting and fishing licenses, issuing small games of chance licenses, and collecting the county’s hotel excise tax.

Do you break the law?

We're not judging.

Yes

Then you’re probably already familiar with the Clerk of Courts, who’s responsible for maintaining your criminal case records. Here are some other things the position is responsible for: supporting the criminal and juvenile courts; collecting costs, fines and restitution; keeping admitted evidence; and documenting court records electronically.

No

Good for you! Maybe you won’t meet the Clerk of Courts — who handles maintaining criminal case records — anytime soon. But, in case it ever comes up during Trivia Night, here are some other things the position is responsible for: supporting the criminal and juvenile courts; collecting costs, fines and restitution; keeping admitted evidence; and documenting court records electronically.

Do you own a gun?

Or know somebody who does/shouldn't?

Yes

Then you probably already know this, but the county Sheriff is responsible for processing licenses to carry guns and licenses to sell guns.  The sheriff also serves subpoenas, provides security to courtrooms in the county, and manages a K-9 unit that services most York County police departments, among other duties.

No

Maybe you don’t own a gun or don’t want to, but the Sheriff processes licenses to carry guns and licenses to sell guns. The sheriff also provides security to courtrooms in the county and manages a K-9 unit that services most York County police departments, among other duties.

Are you getting married?

Soon or some day, perhaps?

Yes

First off, congratulations! Although the title might not suggest it, the Clerk of Orphans Court takes applications and issues marriage licenses (you’ll need one of these if you want the government to recognize your marriage). And speaking of family, the Clerk of Orphans Court also holds the position of Register of Wills. This office makes sure dead people’s property passes to others properly, because when a grandparent dies and leaves a farm to a grandchild, we can’t have any old person come to claim it. The office is also responsible for collecting the state’s inheritance tax.

No

The Clerk of Orphans Court is responsible for more than just marriage licenses. As the title suggests, the position also maintains the dockets for guardianship and adoptions. The Clerk of Orphans Court also holds the position of Register of Wills. This office makes sure dead people’s property passes to others properly, because when a grandparent dies and leaves a farm to a grandchild, we can’t have any old person come to claim it. The office is also responsible for collecting the state’s inheritance tax.

Do you pay local taxes?

(This isn't a trick question)

Yes

How a lot of your tax money is spent locally is determined by the York County Commissioners. They set the budget for 31 different departments and 10 row offices.

No

We find that difficult to believe, especially if you’ve read this much about voting in York County. But, hey, if you’re just here for information, here’s some more: The York County Commissioners are responsible for the budgets for 31 different local departments and 10 row offices.

Those are some of the positions on this year’s ballot. So, should you care about the next local election?

OK, so your answers didn't really matter.

But here’s some information that does matter, based on recent York County census data and ballot results…

The following are rough numbers from the 2015 general election in York County:

0
Eligible voters
0
Registered voters
0
Actual voters
2015 Election Day Turnout (based on eligible voters) 15.75%
2015 Election Day Turnout (based on registered voters) 20.39%

Ouch.

Looks like somebody beat us to this “Don’t Vote” campaign, and it’s unfortunately working. Let’s look at it another way. Pretend you’re a paying customer of a store you frequent…

If you are the customer of a company, you pay money for a service or item and you want that service or item to be of a certain quality. The local positions up for election provide services to every person in York County. Elections allow voters to decide who gives them services.

Mark Walters York County spokesman

So, maybe we should think of ourselves as customers?

If that’s the case, maybe we should change our advice (unless, of course, nothing you just read applies to you)…

VOTE.

Take the next step

Ten positions, including three county commissioner seats, are on the Nov. 5 ballot in York County. (And don’t forget about your local municipal and school board elections). The deadline for registering to vote is Monday, April 22, if you want to cast a ballot in the primary on May 21. Here’s what to do next…

Paid for by York County of PA

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