Everywhere I go I hear people say that their vote doesn’t matter so why should they bother.  And every time I hear it my blood pressure rises.  How could anybody think like that?  Of course your vote matters.

Putting aside the fact that for over 200 years people have fought and died for your right to vote (a heartfelt THANK YOU to our military personnel), by choosing not to vote you are giving the “other side” your power.  Whether you agree or disagree with a candidate, not voting means people that have your polar opposite views have more power than you.  And it’s your fault.

We only need to go back 8 days to get clear examples of how close elections can be and how your vote (or no vote) can impact the outcome.

-In WNY, Senator Tim Kennedy holds a 91 vote lead (http://buffalonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120921/CITYANDREGION/120929931/1002).

-In the Capital District, Senator Roy McDonald is trailing his opponent (http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/156946/with-two-counties-to-go-marchione-leads-by-110/) by 110 votes.

-And in the Hudson Valley, Senator Steve Saland has a 42 vote margin over his opponent (http://polhudson.lohudblogs.com/2012/09/20/saland-gains-votes-during-in-progress-recount/).

Three critical races that will determine control of the State Senate are a virtual toss-up over 242 votes. And there are a handful of other local races that are also too close to call.

The point I am trying to make is that we all have a responsibility to VOTE.  It is the one guaranteed way that we can express our satisfaction or disgust, at any level of government, with an elected official.  It is our tool to have a bigger voice in how our money is spent and what laws get passed or voted down.  Yet far too often, we simply make excuses as to why we won’t vote.

Well this year, I am imploring you to VOTE.  We are making progress in New York and it needs to continue.  At the federal level, we have a clear choice about which path our country should pursue (here is an article that puts it in pretty easy to understand terms, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443931404577549051487723554.html).

Regardless of your political views, you have a responsibility to yourself, your family and your future to VOTE.  Never let those with competing views win without a fight.  And your personal fight starts with a vote on November 6, 2012.