Editorial: Voter power

People ages 18 to 20 have only been able to vote for 33 years. Women have only been able to vote since 1920, not a long time considering men have been able to vote since the drafting of the constitution. The women of Afghanistan have just been given this right and constituted over 40 percent of the voter turnout in Afghanistan’s first free election this month.
A vote is a voice. A vote is a choice. It is your choice. The act of voting is always important. It is both a right and a necessity of the people in a democratic society to ensure the democratic process works and stays working. Voter apathy empowers the self-interest of many career politicians.
The Channels has dedicated this issue to the elections on this Tuesday, Nov. 2. This decision stems from our belief in the power of your vote.
We ask you to do three things. First, register to vote and get your vocal chords ready. Second, get informed on the candidates and the issues, and figure out what you want to say. Third, show up and actually speak up. Let your voice be heard. The worst vote is no vote, and an uninformed vote isn’t much better.
Our constitution requires its citizens to be responsible and active. It requires us to be responsible for the consequences of our freedom. Free speech, free religion, right to assembly, fair trials, gun ownership and, of course, free press. This is advanced citizenship.
Our nation’s ability to allow free thought and discourse breeds a diversity of beliefs among citizens and guarantees them the right to debate. Disagreements are expected and it is through the discussion of these disagreements that great ideas are born. We must remember to appreciate the differences between us because they are an expression of our freedom. For the average voter, though, sometimes the issues can be confusing.
The information available can feel overwhelming, but as Peter Parker’s uncle said in Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.” It takes effort on your part to find out what and whom you want to support. Take the time. Put forth the effort. This is your country and it’s worth it. Facts can be hard to come by when it comes to politics. We usually rely only on what other people tell us. Try to look beyond the scope of spinsters and focus on the core ideals and issues important to you.
Given both the high quality of life in this country and the dryness of political issues, it’s easy to take for granted the rights and privileges that many other people in the world would give their lives for. We have our problems, but we do get to complain about them everyday. And that counts for something.
We all need to vote on Tuesday. You may have already voted by absentee ballot or you may be planning to show up to the polls in person. However you vote, make sure you do. The Channels staff will voting. We will be voting to decide who we want to be our president. We will be voting for national, state and local candidates. We will be voting for or against propositions that will affect our daily lives. And we encourage you to vote too.