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 philadelphiavotes.com
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. ••