Go to polls with best intentions in mind

As Americans, we are responsible for our country, its safety and its stability. We should not forget this on Nov. 6 when we head to the polls. This nation was formed for the people, by the people, but cannot continue to stay this way if citizens stand by and shrug when they think about who the next president will be.

If you are have not registered, it’s too late to be able to vote this year, but I still suggest you do so in future elections. I feel that too often today, people take the right to vote for granted. It is a right that has been ours since the early days of our nation. In our world today, people kill for the right to vote and have their beliefs considered.

I have heard the whole spiel on how voting is pointless, how our votes do not count with the presidential election set up. There is still the popular vote, and if you think that the candidates do not look at those votes then you are crazy. Many people are sick of the Electoral College, so tired of it that if a candidate wins the popular vote and not the electoral vote this time around, there may have to be changes made to our election system.

However, we cannot blame the government for this system. We must blame ourselves for underestimating our vote. One vote can make the decision between a red state and blue state. We live in a state that historically votes democratic and some argue that Republicans are wasting their vote. This is untrue. Our votes do count; they matter more than we think.

As voters we need to know the candidates. Don’t just vote for President Barack Obama because you are a Democrat and don’t just vote for Governor Mitt Romney because you are a Republican. Vote for whom you feel has the best plan for our nation. Do not feel that your vote must go to one of the major candidates either. Voting for a third-party candidate is not a waste of your vote. In 2000, Ralph Nader ran as a third-party candidate and had over 2 million votes. He lost the election, but some argue that without him Al Gore might have won.

I encourage voters to check out the other candidates in the election, those who are not invited to the debates. They may have plans for our country that you agree with, or they may not- and that’s fine. That’s the whole point in doing your research on candidates. It helps to know whom you’re voting for before you step up to the polling station. Look at candidates’ histories, look at the news about them. Enlighten yourself to who these people are, and who they were before they ran.

If you take anything away from this, take the fact that voting is an important responsibility for Americans. Know that you count; you are an important vote in this country. Learn about the candidates, all of them, the majority of people may be Democrat or Republican, but slowly we are seeing more people join other parties. Most of all, vote on Nov. 6. If you’re not registered, then do so in order to have your voice heard next election.