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Opinion: Hey you! Yes you! VOTE!

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Today is not just your ordinary Tuesday; today is Election Day. Let’s be honest, many of you reading this will most likely not vote. There are no presidential implications on the ballot today; there are not a lot of gubernatorial races across the country. I will not sit here and say this ballot is sexy, but it is one everyone should care about because we should care about every election.

First of all, people died for your right to vote. Military soldiers fought numerous wars to secure the democracy we take for granted each day. Civil rights leaders protested for their right to vote on several occasions in history: black Americans protested for their right to vote in the streets of Selma, and women fought for a constitutional amendment that secured their right to vote. Why are we complaining if we do not show up to vote? The whole notion of “taxation without representation” started because citizens did not have adequate representation. Even if you feel you have no representation, you do, and your peers will make the decision for you with or without you.

City elections are just as important as any other election. City officials pass resolutions all the time that affect every resident. Even as a college student, city legislation has a direct impact on your life. For instance, noise regulations for parties, fines for the empty alcohol containers left on your porch and parking regulations are issues City Council regulates.

However, if you do not vote, why does it matter? People easily get grumpy about laws and resolutions they do not like. Well, I have a bulldog who loves the dog park on East State Street. City council is thinking about moving the Athens Farmers’ Market to the dog park. That issue has a direct impact on my life.  If I do not vote for local candidates, I know I am hurting myself and my bulldog may be displaced.

What does skipping your political obligation mean? It means you are stepping on the many individuals who fought to secure this freedom. You may sit here and say, “Well I don’t know the candidates or the issues.” Don’t be afraid, we at The New Political have everything you need to know about the election at both the local and state levels with our Voters’ Guide.

There is one controversial issue on the ballot coming out of Ohio, with Issue 3. This year marks a historic year for Ohio, as its citizens will have a say in the legalization of marijuana. Whether you support it or not, it is on the ballot. After today, who knows how Ohio’s culture will change in regard to pot legalization. If you want to legalize marijuana in Ohio be sure to vote yes on Issue 3 and no on Issue 2. If you are opposed, make sure you do the opposite. If you do neither, well, on Wednesday you’ll know what happens in a political process when you do not have majority of the population at each precinct.

Please make the conscientious decision to vote today. You can be opposed to my feelings toward issues; you can call me crazy. But you cannot justify points of politics without participation; it is the equivalent of asking your bank for money out of a checking account you do not have.

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