It's that time again -- to exercise your constitutional right to vote.
Municipalities in the region are holding elections this Tuesday and next Tuesday to fill out their slate of posts to keep government running smoothly.
And yes, we're going to give you the usual spiel about putting up or shutting up.
If you don't vote, you're hurting yourself and your community. Plus, if you don't cast your ballot, what right have you to complain about how city or county government operates?
Citizen involvement in elections is essential to the proper functioning of a democratic republic -- at all levels.
Some individuals don't believe in voting in local elections because they claim said contests are boring or don't have as much significance as an exciting national or state race.
But just take a minute to think about how local ordinances sometimes affect you and your family more directly than state or national legislation. A national law is oftentimes inconsequential to your everyday existence. But state, and especially local ordinances, can be of prime importance in how you go about your daily routine.
The right to vote is the hallmark of a true republic. Just ask any individual who lives in a country dominated by an autocratic government or theocracy.
Americans can be complacent about important matters such as voting in free and open elections. Participation in the electoral process has been falling for decades as more people feel out of touch with their leaders.
However, because we live in a free society, we're not forced to vote for any particular candidate or anyone at all.
When people abandon practices that strengthen our nation, it weakens us from within.
Do we really want that to happen?