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New Kensington voters should be proud

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Friday, March 15, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

I was born and raised in New Kensington and I'm darned proud of it!

An announcement made at Monday's city council meeting is one of the reasons why: “With 68 percent of our registered voters having voted in the most recent presidential election, New Kensington led the entire state.”

The vote was split at 50-50, so there was no agreement among the voters on who should be president, but it was a spectacular 68 percent of registered voters who agreed upon the need and obligation to vote.

Last summer, I was pleased with our city council's response to the new Voter ID law. Our council did not take a position on the legality or merits of that law; its only concern was our citizens maintaining their ability to vote. A plan to get adversely affected citizens to the driver's license center (where photo IDs were available) was spearheaded by Councilman John Regoli and the Elks Club.

The VND ran an article about this effort in its Sunday edition. Within 20 minutes of reading the article, which gave my phone number as a contact, I received a call from a Mrs. Calcagno. Calcagno expressed relief and gratitude for this assistance. She explained that she and her husband had not missed voting in over 50 years, but they were now in their 90s and didn't drive anymore.

Councilman Regoli took them in his personal vehicle to the driver's license center and then to Lunch. Sadly, Mrs. Calcagno died a few days before the inauguration and while I don't know whom she voted for, I do know she proudly voted.

Melvyn E. Smith

New Kensington

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