What are you doing on Election Day? Is it on your calendar? If it isn’t, it should be. Check now. If it isn’t there, put it down. Now. Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Vote button

USA Today recently reported in a cover story that 90 million Americans who are eligible to vote this year probably won’t. That is a tragedy. The article says that these citizens say that they are too busy, fed up and disillusioned. Not very good reasons.

If you are too busy, there are all kinds of ways to vote early. And it really might take less time than going to a polling place on Nov. 6. And you can take time to really think about how you want to cast your ballot. This might be an excellent  option if you truly can’t make it to the ballot box that first Tuesday in November.

Fed up? Seriously now, is this a rational reason to NOT vote? If you are fed up, this is the strongest argument anyone could make to say you MUST vote. How can you change whatever it is that you are fed up with if all you do is sit in your favorite chair and watch election returns after dinner? If you really want to be fed up, be fed up with those people who don’t vote.

Disillusioned? Come now. Look around you. Innovation. Imagination. The energy of those around all of us – family, coworkers, friends. We see hope and imagination every day. People we know care about the future. People intend to make it a better place. We are capable of that. History is full of examples, and the future won’t be any different if we all participate. That includes making sure your voice is heard in this great democratic process.

Aside from the fact that voting is a fundamental (constitutional/unalienable) right of every citizen of this country, there is a lot a stake. And it isn’t just the 2012 election. It is much more than that. Look over the course of history. More times than not, there is a lot at stake. If there wasn’t, we wouldn’t have elections. Why go to all of that trouble if elections didn’t matter? But they do matter. A lot.

Not convinced yet? Well you must be thinking about it because you are still reading this. So here are my last two points …

First, if you don’t exercise your right to vote, you have a right to complain. No vote means no right to complain.

And second, how are you going to feel when your colleague or friend or family asks if you voted and you have to say no? That is setting a really bad example.

So, don’t set a bad example and don’t surrender your right to complain. Put Election Day on your calendar right now. Then make it a point to show up.


Editor’s Note: Voter registration closes on Oct. 9, 2012, for November 2012 General Election. (Mail-in voter registration applications must be postmarked on or before the registration deadline.)  Register today!