Harrisburg, Pa. -- The 2020 election underscored to many just how important it is to vote. Even more important is to know what your registration status is. But, are you sure that you are registered? Do you even know where you go to vote? Do you know how to get an absentee or mail-in ballot?

According to the Pa. Department of State, which oversees the election process in the state, certain obstacles could prevent you from voting this year, such as moving or a name change. 

"Help spread the word, and make sure all fellow Pennsylvanians can cast a ballot on November 2. Make sure your voice is heard," said Acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid.

The next election is on November 2, 2021, and if you are not registered to vote, it is not too late. October 18 is the last day to register before the November election this year.

Typically, in Northcentral Pa., mostly Republicans and Democrats run for the major offices we vote for, such as mayor, county commissioner, or governor. And the nominees for all those offices are chosen by voters during a primary election, which is held early each year.

Related reading: Primary election results from around the region, 2021

Now is the time to make sure your voter registration information is correct and up to date. In addition, you may change your name, voter address, or party affiliation with the click of a button. You must make any updates to your voter registration by October 18 for them to take effect by the November 2021 election.

Although the pandemic is far from over, you may still apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot this year.

Many may believe their vote "doesn't matter," but few may realize local elections may impact your life in a greater way than many actions made by any president or congress. Elections also have been decided by just a few votes, according to OnPointFacts.

For instance, for some local offices in Lycoming County, other people have been elected by a single or double write-in vote, like school board member, township auditor or tax collector.

The argument can be made that elections have consequences. 

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