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Our View: Apathy is not an option: Get out and vote

November 7, 2018

After Tuesday’s election, Minnesota will have a new governor-elect, the 1st Congressional District will be represented by a new congressman-elect, and Rochester will have a new mayor-elect.

The election will determine new members of the Rochester City Council and the Rochester School Board, and there’s the potential for new members of the Minnesota House of Representatives and the Olmsted County Board.

And you were thinking of not voting Tuesday?

With such wholesale changes on the ballot, it should be imperative for every single one of us to get out and vote. This democracy in which we live depends on participation by citizens if it is to function at its optimum.

This is your opportunity to have a say in how your community, state and nation will be governed in future months and years.

Sure, it’s easy to sit back, let other people make the tough choices, and then complain about the results. Remember, though, that you forfeit your all-American right to complain if you don’t vote.

Apathy is not an option. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”

• Don’t know who to vote for? Reputable media outlets, including the Post-Bulletin, have provided balanced reports on each candidate in the numerous races. There’s still time to get up to speed and cast an informed vote.

• Not registered to vote? In Minnesota, you can register to vote on Tuesday, at the polling place. Make sure to have something — a driver’s license, school ID, lease agreement, utility bill — that shows your current address. Or ask a neighbor to vouch for you.

• Not sure where to vote? Simply go to google.com, type in “Where to vote” and then your address.

• Voting doesn’t change anything? We disagree. Your single vote may not change the outcome of a race, but it will change you. It will cause you to pay attention to what happens next, to keep an eye on issues and candidates, to possibly get involved in a campaign next time around. Who knows, it may even tempt you to run for office yourself.

We do know this for sure: This American experiment, and yes, it still is an experiment, cannot succeed without your involvement and input. For the good of all of us, head to the polls Tuesday and cast your vote.

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