Student argues the importance of voting

Tired of the presidential campaign season yet? Are you sick of all the negative TV ads relentlessly attacking members of the opposite political party? With Mitt Romney calling President Obama a debt-loving, class warfare-waging, apologetic Commander-in-Chief who doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism.

You turn the channel and see an ad featuring an out-of-tune Mitt attempting to sing ‘America the Beautiful’ while headlines about his offshore bank accounts flash across the screen.

In an election cycle dominated by such inflamed rhetoric sponsored by Super PACs and rich lobbyists on both sides of the aisle, it is easy for anyone to feel hopeless and without any good options come November 6.

It may seem trivial and obvious, but there is one thing you can do to make your voice heard: vote. Too many people choose not to vote, and are not even registered to do so. They may ask, “What is the use? How can my single vote make a difference in the millions cast?” While this argument may seem to make sense, it actually couldn’t be further from the truth.

If you are from Cleveland, for example, your vote is very significant because you live in a populous urban county in a swing state that analysts believe is one of several likely to decide the very-close election. Think your vote doesn’t matter? Think again.

Not only does your vote matter, I would argue that it is every single person’s civic duty to vote, even if they feel they do not have many options or do not know much about politics.

It is especially important for our generation to vote. In just a few years (or months for my fellow seniors) we will be living and working in a less-than-ideal economy, and will be greatly affected by whomever sits in the Oval Office.

Whatever your political affiliation may be, I cannot think of any more pressing incentive to take 10 minutes out of your day to register to vote and 20 minutes to go to the nearest polling place in Erie to choose your representatives.

So do it. You are out of excuses, and you are running out of time. The deadline to register to vote in Pennsylvania is October 9. If you are requesting an absentee ballot from your home polling place, time may be even shorter.

Take a few moments to Google your local county elections office, fill out the registration form, and send it in. This election year, it is too important not to.