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Have you registered to vote?

VoiceBox, illustration by John Kimball

In the summer of 2004, my best friend and I were waiting in line to get into a concert when a woman with a clipboard walked up to us and asked, “Are you registered to vote?” Both of us replied with extreme pride, “Yes, we are!”

We were 18, had just graduated from high school, and we were going to vote in our first Presidential election that fall.

In 2008, my husband and I made “Hope Chili” and watched TV as states turned blue and red from East to West. It was early on the West Coast when my aunt texted me from Grant Park in Chicago where she and her family watched our new President accept America’s vote.

It’s 2012, and another Presidential election is right around the corner. Now that both candidates have accepted their party’s nomination, it’s time to make sure your own paperwork is in order.

If you don’t register to vote, you can’t vote

I don’t care which side of the issues you stand on, but if you don’t vote, then you don’t have an opinion on any of them.

Register to vote today to make sure that you do.

If you’re in college, register to vote at your home address as an absentee. This election is more than who will be the leader of the U.S.; it is also about electing people to represent decisions that will be made for you in the place that you call “home.” Decisions like how much those teachers who inspired you and helped you get to where you are will be paid. Decisions like if your local fire district will have the resources to.

The last day to register to vote in the General Election is early October 2012 and the actual date varies by state. So get your act in gear and register to vote today. (If you live in Washington State, you can register to vote via Facebook.)

Make our forefathers and foremothers proud. Exercise your freedom to have a choice and a voice.

Illustration by John Kimball

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