Health - April 19, 2013


Voter registration deadline approaching as online voter registration considered

The deadline for Pennsylvanians to register to vote in the May primary election is Monday, April 22.  In order to register, residents must be a United States citizen for ate last a month prior to an election and eighteen years old on or before the next election.  The primary election date is May 21; races include school boards, township supervisors, city and borough council members and tax collectors.  Pennsylvanians can register in person at County Voter Registration offices, PennDOT, and certain other government agencies.  Residents can also register by mail; forms and a full list of agencies for in person registration can be found at www.votespa.com.

As the deadline approaches for registration; the Pennsylvania House of Representatives will receive a bill passed by the Senate that will allow for online voter registration.  Currently, voters can confirm their registration online but cannot actually register online.  Sen. Lloyd Smucker introduced the legislation in order to increase voter participation and ease the registration process.  The measure will also reduce costs to counties; as 16 other states that have implemented the process have reported significant cost savings.  The Department of State has also spent the last year preparing to implement the system and has been working on technical and security issues.  Senator Smucker said “It’s been proven to work in other states, and the time is right for Pennsylvania to join them.”

 

Airport delays to increase as FAA furloughs go into effect

Department of Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, announced on Thursday that fliers at major airports could experience significant delays beginning Sunday as Federal Aviation Administration furloughs go into effect.  LaHood announced that delays could reach up to two hours and 10 minutes and that was not factoring in weather or other delays.  The FAA will begin furloughing 47,000 employees on Sunday; employees will be required to take eleven days of unpaid leave from now until the end of September.  Delays are expected to peak over the summer.  The sequester required a $637 million budget cut for the FAA; LaHood said that there were “a wide range of impacts across the system” but added that “safety is not up for negotiation.”  Airports that are likely to be most affected include Newark, LaGuardia, Chicago O’Hare and Midway, LAX, Atlanta, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, San Diego and San Francisco, Charlotte and Philadelphia.