Our view: This is one deadline you don’t want to miss

Consider the following questions:

Are you a U.S. citizen who’s at least 18 years old?

Have you lived in Ohio for the past 30 days?

Will you be 18 years old on or before Nov. 4?

Have you avoided being convicted of a felony? (Note to our collegiate audience: Being caught underage drinking doesn’t make you a felon. Whew.)

If you answered “yes” to these questions but would answer ” no” to whether you are registered to vote, we’ve got a problem on our hands. But thanks to the powers that be, you can solve this problem before 9 p.m. tonight.

Go to the University Library or the Portage County Board of Elections (449 South Meridian Street in Ravenna) and fill out a simple and painless form. Compared to the teaching evaluation you fill out at the end of every semester, this is a breeze.

Too often, deadlines are fluid. If you don’t get your paper in for College Writing, you can always e-mail it to your professor later that day. So you lose five points, it’s not a huge consequence. But the consequence of missing today’s deadline is much more costly.

By not registering to vote, you’re surrendering your voice as to how your country is run for the next four years. It’s not just that, you won’t have another chance to vote for president for another four years.

It’s not just the presidential election you have to worry about. Federal and state members of Congress are up for reelection as well as local politicians in each county and state and local ballot issues. If you’ve never voted before, you might be surprised to learn that the ballot goes far beyond a presidential pick.

Take a look at the local elections and issues up for consideration and inform yourselves about your choices.

The choices aren’t even limited (in theory) to Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama. There are candidates for the Constitution Party, Green Party, Libertarian Party and even the Socialist Party U.S.A. Ralph Nader is also running as an independent.

Science fiction author Douglas Adams once said, “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” But we can assure you, there’s one sound that’s much more gratifying than that of a deadline flying by. It’s the click of a pen as you register to vote.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.