Ken Connor

Inherent in our right to vote is the duty to cast an informed vote. To vote without understanding who it is and what it is you are voting for is to throw away your vote. Merely voting "R" or "D" is a disservice to your country and your fellow Americans. Each one of us has a duty to understand who it is we are electing to office.

Voters will do well to resist peer pressure. Columnists, party leaders, activists, and talking heads of all sorts pressure people into voting for one candidate or another simply because "everyone's doing it" or "they've got it in the bag." On the contrary, each person's vote is their own weighty responsibility, and each has to rectify that vote with their conscience.

Even when faced with poor options, we must not retreat to the corner saying, "It doesn't matter—they're all the same." Each election is bigger than the candidates running. Each election is a chance to reaffirm our right to vote. Each election is a chance to buttress our system of government. Neglecting this right will weaken our system. Vote for whomever you will, write-in a candidate if you do not like the options on the ballot, but by all means do vote.

This election will have great bearing on the life of our nation for years to come. The next President will shape the future of our troubled economy, determine the strategies employed in Iraq and Afghanistan, appoint justices to the Supreme Court who will sit for decades, shape the contours of our civil liberties in a time of national fear, influence the future of healthcare in our country, and guide the moral limits placed on rapidly-developing technologies. Out of concern for these and the myriad of other issues which will be influenced by the next President, don't fail to exercise your civic duty on November 4th. Vote!

Ken Connor

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC.