Pennsylvania Department of State launches voter education initiative

Mar 16, 2016, 12:42 ET from Pennsylvania Department of State

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 16, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Department of State today launched a voter education initiative aimed at increasing participation in the electoral process.

Everyone votesPA will provide a web-based educational toolkit as well as a series of in-person trainings to be held at locations around the Commonwealth.

Secretary of State Pedro A. Cortés introduced the program during a press conference held at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC). Also on hand were HACC President John J. "Ski" Sygielski; Susan Carty, president of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, and Marian K. Schneider, Deputy Secretary for Elections and Administration.

"Everyone votesPA will guide Pennsylvania electors through all aspects of voting, from registration to the actual experience at the polling place," said Secretary of State Pedro A. Cortés. "Our goal is simple. We want to increase voter registration and the number of eligible citizens who go to the polls."

There are approximately 2 million eligible Pennsylvanians who are not registered to vote, according to U.S. Census and Department of State (DOS) statistics.

The Everyone votesPA material is aimed at the voting public, civic engagement groups and educational institutions. DOS is partnering with a variety of community groups, colleges and universities, and county library systems to distribute the voter toolkit.

During launch events today, DOS staff presented the live program at HACC and at Shippensburg University. A presentation is planned for March 28 at Delaware County Community College.

Deputy Secretary Schneider said education is key to making voting more accessible to all.

"Already, we have greatly simplified the registration process through our online voter registration site," Schneider said. "Now, we want to educate voters about their rights and exactly what they can expect when they go to the polls. The more the voter knows, the better the experience will be."

The complete voter education toolkit, which includes a 2016 Voter Guide and "Top 5 Things Every Pennsylvania Voter Should Know for the 2016 Elections," can be found at Also included are a welcome video by Secretary Cortés and a PowerPoint component.

In the coming months, DOS staff will present Everyone votesPA at other educational institutions in all regions of the Commonwealth. Follow the conversation by using the #votesPA hashtag.

MEDIA CONTACT:  Wanda Murren, (717) 783-1621

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of State