November 4 is Election Day.

Have you returned your ballot?

If simply doing your civic duty isn’t enough to get you to the polls, to encourage you to return your ballot we offer the following reasons to vote from The Partnership for Safety and Justice:

“Voting is a way to speak your mind and let your voice be heard.

“Your vote is your voice. When we vote, we are actually telling elected officials and lawmakers how we feel about education, public safety, social security, health care, and other important issues.

“One voice, one vote really does count.

“Remember: there is power in numbers, and when we vote and get our family members to vote, we can truly make a difference. If you don’t vote for what you believe in, others will — and you may not like the outcome.

“Our children are depending on us to represent their voices too.

“Because our children can’t vote, we have to do it for them. That’s how we make our concerns about schools, safety, housing and other issues heard. When we vote, we are looking out for our kids, and their futures.

“Voting changes communities.

“Vote to effect change.

“It was through elections that we voted in officials who were champions for civil rights. Voting is our chance to make a difference in our own lives and within the world.

“Believe it or not, voting is a way of honoring our history.

“As long as our country has existed, there have been people who didn’t want us to vote. There were several freedom fighters that stood up for the right to vote. Well, those times may seem ancient, but there are still people today who don’t want us to vote. It’s now our turn to stand up and vote to preserve the honor of those who went before us.

“Last but not least, because it gives you credibility.

“Often times, we voice our concerns to elected officials, but if we aren’t voting, our concerns may not matter at all to them. Voting can actually give you the credibility to make your concerns a top priority for legislators.”

A couple of other good reasons to vote from social media include:

“It’s your money. The county commissioners, governor, state officials, legislators, and members of Congress you vote for will decide how much of our wealth to invest in public services and how to fairly share the tax burden.

“Election Day is the one day each year when everyone in the U.S. is EQUAL. Your vote counts just as much as anyone else’s.”

If you are still not convinced that your vote is important, think back to the most recent town election. The ballot issue on council compensation clearly demonstrates how a single vote can make a difference. Results from the tally showed 292 people voted for it and 291 voted against it.

If nothing else matters, just remember your vote can cancel out your neighbor’s or friend’s vote if you disagree with them.

And, if you don’t vote, you have no grounds to complain when something doesn’t go your way.

Voting is taking responsibility. Don’t let someone else decide what is best for you.

Vote. Return your ballot today.

Terri Lynn Oldham House