Opinion: Go vote

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Perhaps we’ve already heard it. Maybe a passing billboard caught our eye. Or, it could have been a television commercial that planted the suggestion. For the intelligent and erudite, it might have been a well-placed advertisement in this very newspaper that brought it to your attention. Regardless the genesis, it seems difficult to believe that it is time for another election.

On Nov. 6, many of us will march to the polls. Millions have already made the trip through the newly instituted early voting in addition to the time-tested standard of advanced absentee suffrage. Good, and add this voice to the many that urge us to exercise the right. If you haven’t yet done it, drop this paper and vote – now. For those of us who have, well done. 

Still, millions will skip the ballot box entirely. Some for reasons that may seem good enough but most for convenience or lack of will. Sure, politics is more than a bit unpleasant. It always has been. Fantasy writer and would-be Minnesotan office-bearer Will Shetterly once correctly remarked that “politics is a dirty business, but if you do not do politics, politics will be done to you.” 

In this acrimonious electorate, there are those who have decided to take a break by working to avoid participation in the whole circus. If one doesn’t vote, for any candidate, how can they be responsible for the behavior of those elected? If one feels uninformed, how can they make an informed choice? Hmm. Can one be a conscientious objector to elections? Perhaps. Yet, isn’t a non-vote, in most cases, the same as a consent to the rule of the minority? Our resistance is registered as an advantage to the largest of the sets of those motivated to participate. There is no “opt out.”

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