Importance of voting discussed at Rhawnhurst NORC meeting

Stephanie Sing­er got an early start in polit­ics, cam­paign­ing as a 12-year-old in 1976 for Demo­crat­ic pres­id­en­tial can­did­ate Sar­gent Shriver.

Sing­er, now a city elec­tions com­mis­sion­er, wishes every cit­izen was in­volved in the polit­ic­al pro­cess, at least by vot­ing.

Last month, Sing­er ad­dressed mem­bers of the Rhawn­hurst Nat­ur­ally Oc­cur­ring Re­tire­ment Com­munity. The top­ic was Be the Boss. Why Does Your Vote Mat­ter?

Sing­er is a math­em­atician who moved to Phil­adelphia in 2001, but she doesn’t have to be a num­bers ex­pert to know that Phil­adelphia’s 9-per­cent turnout in the May primary was miser­able. The turnout in the Nov. 5 gen­er­al elec­tion wasn’t much bet­ter, at an es­tim­ated 11 per­cent.

The way Sing­er sees it, her job is “get­ting Phil­adelphia out to vote.”

Seni­or cit­izens, she ex­plained, vote at a re­l­at­ively high per­cent­age, and pub­lic of­fi­cials take note. It’s not co­in­cid­ence, she said, that pro­ceeds from the Pennsylvania Lot­tery be­ne­fit seni­ors rather than a group that votes in smal­ler num­bers, like young people.

Sing­er is the former Demo­crat­ic lead­er of the 8th Ward, which is gen­er­ally in Cen­ter City west of Broad Street. The people there vote in high num­bers, and politi­cians took no­tice.

“Elec­ted of­fi­cials answered my phone calls per­son­ally and on the same day,” she said.

Sing­er urged NORC mem­bers to vote in every elec­tion, even if they “hate ‘em all.” She poin­ted out that cit­izens can choose the “No Vote” but­ton, and it will be coun­ted.

“Know that it’s there if it’s needed,” she said.

As for the $95 that poll work­ers re­ceive for 13-hour days, she called it a “slap in the face” be­cause they have an enorm­ous re­spons­ib­il­ity to en­sure free and fair elec­tions.

Sing­er en­cour­aged cit­izens to call her of­fice at 215-MU6-3460 or to vis­it phil­

In oth­er news from the Oct. 24 meet­ing, held at Con­greg­a­tions of Ner Zedek syn­agogue, state Rep. John Sabat­ina Jr. an­nounced House pas­sage, by a vote of 200-2, of his bill that would in­crease the pen­al­ties for those who com­mit home in­va­sion crimes.

Sabat­ina was an as­sist­ant dis­trict at­tor­ney from 2001-05 be­fore be­ing elec­ted. ••

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