Ryan Chartrand

You’re only going to have a few days to register to vote before the Nov. 7election by the time this column is published, if you haven’t already, and that really should give you a reason to hurry.

Now you can give me every excuse in the book about why you’re not going to vote this time around, such as “it’s only a midterm election, nothing important is being voted on,” or “I don’t know what’s on the ballot,” but I am not buying it.

One reason to vote is the fact that it gives you, a responsible adult living in the real world that is affected by the results of elections, a voice in issues that will most likely affect you at sometime or another. Before you go off and become smart, educated voters making important decisions for our state and immediate communities, I’d like to remind you to not vote for the party line, but for what you believe is the best decision for you, your community and your state.

I don’t care if you’re Republican, Democrat, Green Party or Whig, just voting for whatever your party tells you to is akin to propaganda. No one likes having their mind controlled, am I right? Everyone seems to forget that people who ascribe to different political parties than them don’t have the plague.

I’m not going to tell you what to vote for because that’s your decision and it’s not my job. While you can always let others influence your decisions, it’s your vote and yours alone, which is exactly why you should go onto the Internet and inform yourself.

Midterm elections are often regarded like third-party candidates. I have heard people say that they’re not going to bother for a midterm election because their vote won’t count for anything. So I guess the governor, state executives, U.S. senators, U.S. representatives, state assembly, state propositions, important county and city measures aren’t important enough? Tsk tsk, my friends. You know that’s not true if you’ve ever taken a government class, and considering general education requirements, I know you will have to eventually.

It is always incredibly important to make an informed decision once you get into the voting booth. Smartvoter.org gives a comprehensive list of everything on the ballot this election as well as arguments for and against propositions by simply putting in your ZIP code. If you want to know more than the brief summaries on smartvoter.org, I suggest going to the powers that be (aka Google) for more information than you can handle. Just watch out for biased information and make sure you look at both sides of the argument before making any final decisions.

If you’re not really up to the task of reading up on all of the issues and candidates, at least try to do some research. It’s not against the law to leave parts of your ballot blank.

Don’t be lazy with your political future, make an effort to register, inform yourself and vote. I promise you’ll be more satisfied when you do.

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