Each year, the Pennsylvania Elections Bureau honors state residents who have gone above and beyond in performing their civic duty.
Each year the bureau elects people to the Pennsylvania Voter Hall of Fame.
In order to be eligible, a person must vote in 50 consecutive November elections without missing a year.
This year, 12 Wyoming County residents were inducted into the Pennsylvania Voter Hall of Fame: Dennis Boice, Tunkhannock; Robert Day, Mehoopany; Melvin Gilpin, Dalton; Robert Gritman, Tunkhannock; Ellen McClain, Laceyville William Smarkusky, Nicholson; Cynthia Stevens, Nicholson; Kenneth Vanderburg, Factoryville; Patricia Wadas, Tunkhannock; Dale Wagner, Tunkhannock; Russell Wall, Monroe Township; and Diane Wilson, Tunkhannock.
Cynthia Stevens of Nicholson, said that being inducted into the hall of fame is one of her biggest accomplishments.
“I’m very proud of voting every time an election is on the books,” Stevens said. “I do everything possible to make sure I vote, and that includes voting by mail in the last election.”
Stevens has been a Democratic Party committee woman for Nicholson since 2013, and has even given her time as a poll worker for multiple elections.
“When you are working the polls, it’s important to greet people to show them that their vote matters just as much as everyone else’s,” Stevens said. “So many people worked hard to get the right to vote, including women and African Americans, so showing up every election to do my civic duty is very important to me.”
Melvin Gilpin of Dalton, said that voting is all about making your voice being heard, and making sure that no one messes with your rights.
“It’s a free nation, we have the rights to say what we want, and I want to keep it that way,” Gilpin said. “Everyone has a right to support their candidate. I have voted for both parties, I just vote for whoever is right for the job, that’s the beauty of America.”
Robert Gritman of Tunkhannock agrees with that statement, and does his part to make sure that everyone gets out to vote on Election Day.
“When November comes around, I make sure to call all of my friends and tell them to get to the polls,” Gritman said.
“Even when it’s an off-year election, it’s just as important to vote. Your state representatives, mayors and county commissioners are just as important.”
Gritman has worked on the campaigns of George W. Bush, and says that the experience he received from doing that has motivated him more to get out and vote.
“Even if your candidate doesn’t win, you should still feel accomplished when you vote,” Gritman said. “We the people get to be the judge of whether someone is doing their job good or not, and we should all take pride in that.”
Although Gilpin, Gritman and Stevens have exercised their constitutional right for 50 straight years, there is still a large majority of Americans who don’t show up to the polls on Election Day, they all had messages for those people.
“Not voting is basically not honoring all of the people who fought for your constitutional rights,” Stevens said. “It’s part of being a citizen, and I don’t know why people wouldn’t do it.
Gritman added, “Don’t complain about the outcome. You had your chance to go and fix it if you don’t like your representatives and decided to stay home. You have no one to blame but yourselves.”
Each of the 12 electors will receive a certificate for being a part of this elite group of voters.