Editorial: It’s time to fulfill your civic duty

Published 11:23 am Wednesday, October 10, 2012

With a week left before voter registration closes, now is the time to live up to your civic responsibility and get yourself ready to vote in the upcoming elections next month.

All the old lessons you learned in civics class still apply to your life today. As members of a representative democracy, you hold the power to elect officials who will make critical decisions to affect your life. If you agree with the way an elected official represents you, it is your responsibility to vote to make sure that person stays in office, and the opposite is true if you disagree with your representation.

Finding out each candidate’s views and debating which candidate is best suited for office is clearly important, but the oft-ignored overlying election issue is voter turnout. About 131.3 million U.S. citizens voted in the 2008 presidential election, the largest voter turnout thus far. Yet millions, even tens of millions, still refuse to vote, or don’t care enough to go through voter registration.

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That’s unfortunate. A well-running government depends on the participation of its people, and it serves no purpose to complain about government oversight if you’re not taking part in ensuring our elected officials do their jobs.

Register to vote before Oct. 16, otherwise voters can always register at polling locations on Election Day. Regardless of when you do it, be sure to register and become part of the civic process.