The importance of casting your vote

Tuesday is a big day for Hattiesburg voters and students at The University of Southern Mississippi. Registered voters will head to the polls to elect the mayor of Hattiesburg, and students will elect members of their 2013 Homecoming court.

We feel that it’s important for all of you to exercise your right to vote.

There are many of us who may say, “I’m not voting today, my vote doesn’t even count,” but the last Hattiesburg mayoral election proved that thought process wrong.

This will also be the first time that Southern Miss students will have the opportunity to cast their vote in a municipal election while school is in session.

The politics of every election are over once the ballots are counted and a candidate declared winner. However, this special election is giving Hattiesburg voters a second chance to make an appearance at the polls.

Less than half of Hattiesburg’s registered voters cast their vote in the highly contested June 4 election that resulted in Tuesday’s special election. It doesn’t matter if you agreed with the outcome of the last election or the subsequent trial. If you are registered voter in Hattiesburg, it’s important to educate yourself on each candidate’s platforms before you cast your vote on Tuesday.

Although it’s on a different scale from the mayoral election, USM’s Homecoming elections are a lesson in disguise.

Yes, we know voting in Homecoming elections may not seem like a big deal to many of you, but it’s the simple act of exercising your freedom and your right to vote that makes it a big deal. There are many students who come from other countries to study at Southern Miss who don’t have their voices heard in any elections, big or small. This small vote in a Homecoming election may be the only vote they ever get to cast.

Many of you may exercise your right to vote once in Tuesday’s Homecoming election, but we encourage those of you who are registered to vote in Hattiesburg to vote in the mayoral election.