Election season is quickly approaching and during this time I am asked on a regular basis why it is important to vote. First, we should ask what does it mean to vote. If we look at it from this perspective, the value of your vote will be better understood. Voting can be a very effective way for the public to communicate with governing bodies. This right provides all citizens the opportunity to let governing officials know what their opinions are on specific issues and laws that affect them personally or as a community. As a result of strong voting communities, elected officials respond more to people who get out and vote. Remember, voting does not guarantee your preferences will win; however, choosing not to exercise your right to vote puts you in a situation where you simply must accept the decisions of those who govern your life. The future is dependent upon whether or not you cast your vote even if your personal values are not represented by those in public offices. Your right to vote is the cornerstone of democracy.

Some people may not know who or what to vote for. This mentality is not an excuse. It is our responsibility to educate ourselves on the candidates, issues, and propositions. Individuals should make their own decisions while casting a vote rather than on the advice of others. Information on issues and candidates is readily available and it would be unwise for voters not to take the time to educate themselves.

If you have not registered to vote yet, please visit http://sos.georgia.gov/elections/vrinfo.htm and fill out the Voter Registration Form. The last day to register is October 11, 2011. Remember the future of this country relies on your vote!