One more time: Get to the polls today!

Only 30 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds voted in the last presidential election.

It’s a good time of the year to be a young Minnesotan. The fall colors are exploding, there are good games and shows to see, and presidential candidates are clamoring for our attention. Living in a swing state with same-day registration makes us an important piece of the presidential jigsaw puzzle, and we as students have the opportunity to make an incredible affect on the election.

Only 30 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds voted in the last presidential election. But numerous polls in this election are predicting we will vote in record numbers, some saying as high as 60 percent. This is our chance to show politicians and the country that we do care about issues and shouldn’t be overlooked.

This is the most important election in decades, with issues that will affect us immediately and in the future. The costs of our education and what Social Security will look like when we are in the workforce are just two issues being voted on. Both will dramatically shape our lives in the years ahead. We need to vote, because if we don’t turn out now, how can we explain ourselves to people who say we don’t care?

Voting is the most important tool we have to shape our political lives. We do not have the same political ties or economic resources available to influence the political process the way other groups do. When adding variety to my diet means a decision between chicken or picante beef ramen noodles, pleas for campaign contributions don’t resonate with me or my frail, undernourished frame. Voting is my easy, painless and free method of participating in the political process.

There has never been a better time to be an informed voter, because so much is at stake and there are so many tools at our. I am a director at a student voting organization called Votes For Students that wants college students to be politically savvy. Our nonpartisan group will be sending out e-mails today to University students and students around the country with information about the location of your polling places and links to other nonpartisan sites that provide information about all the candidates. Included is information on the wondrous liberty of same-day registration, a convenience that seems designed for college students and one that I am going to take advantage of today.

The reasons not to vote are weak given the ease of voting and this election’s urgency, so simply do it. “The Biggest Loser” and “Madden 2005” will not excuse you this year. Go vote.

Brad Beherns is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected]