Our Opinion: Believe it or not, your vote counts

No doubt you will be going to the polls Tuesday if you are a registered voter who has not yet cast a ballot through one of the early voting systems.

Right?

You understand how important this year’s general election is, regardless of where you live, of course. So you will be voting, won’t you?

Polling places will open at 7 a.m. Tuesday. They will not close until 8 p.m. That should allow plenty of time for most people to cast ballots.

Every single county polling place was published yesterday in the Times Observer.

It is important. U.S. senators and members of the House of Representatives will be elected Tuesday. So will members of our state legislature.

All voters can cast ballots in a general election like today’s midterm.

In Pennsylvania, you only have to show your ID if it’s your first time voting in that precinct.

Pennsylvania also allows voters to name anyone as a write-in candidate.

Pennsylvania has a guide on its Votes PA website (www.votespa.com) outlining all your rights as a voter, from language to disability. If necessary, you are able to choose someone to come with you to the booth.

All this said, there’s no excuse for not doing your civic duty today.

Less than 50 percent of eligible young voters ages 18 to 29 cast a vote in 2012.

In fact, in most communities, the overall turnout for voting is less than 50 percent.

In 1974, a New Hampshire Senate race was decided by two votes out of 223,363.

And the Alaskan congressional race was decided by a single vote out of 10,035 cast in 2008.

People elected to offices Tuesday will be approving budgets and making laws that can affect us all, sometimes beneficially — and sometimes not.

So look at voting as a matter of self-defense if you have to — and get to your polling place on Tuesday.

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