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October 07, 2000

Here's a no-brainer suggestion if ever there was one: If you aren't

registered to vote, go register. Do it now.

And once you've done that, feel free to exercise a privilege and

responsibility that half of all Americans of eligible age routinely

ignore: vote.

Yup, it's that time again: election season. As we close in on Nov. 7,

Election Day, the races get tighter, the political maneuvering more


adept, the rhetoric thicker and deeper. It can be a lot to wade through,

particularly this year, when we're voting on everything from Assembly

members to president of the United States.

But if you're not a registered voter, you don't have until Nov. 7 to

decide if you want to be part of the fun or stand on the sidelines. The

deadline for registering to vote next month is Oct. 10 -- as in Tuesday,

four days from now -- so you'd better get a move on.

Of course, the excitement doesn't stop in a month. Next spring, voters

get to cast their ballots in a slew of local races, including the usual

hot contests for city councils. Picking a president is important, but

most folks don't get the chance to swing by his office, say hello and see

how the business of running government is going. That sort of thing can

and does happen with local city council members all the time, so electing

those people is pretty important, too.

The key thing here, though, is voting itself. It's the key the average

American holds that unlocks the door to our democracy, and is the

foundation of our entire system. We get to choose who represents our

interests, who makes our laws and who decides the ways to govern. If we

don't like the way they do it, we can find someone else and vote them in.

It's the ultimate form of self-expression.

"If you don't vote, you can't complain," goes the popular saying.

Well, people who don't vote do complain, and all the time. It's their

right. But somewhere inside, we hope a little voice is telling them

things might have been different if they'd done their part and cast a


Keep your little voice quiet. Get registered, and go vote.

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