6 reasons you really should vote

A volunteer holds a sticker to give to a voter at a polling place on Election Day in 2020 in Stamford.

A volunteer holds a sticker to give to a voter at a polling place on Election Day in 2020 in Stamford.

Associated Press

Tuesday is Election Day in towns and cities. Did you just yawn? Here’s why you’re so wrong.

Voting is honestly fun. OK, it’s also a civic duty and all that, but Election Day is like game day with ballots. Anybody who swings by a schoolhouse or firehouse-turned-polling-place feels the electric charge. And who knows? You might be making history. Or preventing a disaster.

Voting this year matters even more than last year precisely because this election is so local. Typically, presidential and statewide elections get bigger turnout. But local elections like this one have far more impact on issues in your backyard, and we do mean that literally. They determine who will make the decisions on your city’s property taxes, your town’s schools, the parks, housing, policing, bike lanes. They determine whether your Main Street is vibrant or dead, whether your town center will get a recreational pot store or a regular drugstore, and whether you can turn your garage into an apartment for your parents. In the next year, they’ll have a lot to say on how to spend federal infrastructure funds. Don’t let a small number of voters have outsize influence over who will make those decisions.

When you vote, you earn the right to complain about the results. If your property taxes are going bonkers, potholes are breaking your car or your zoning board is ignoring the major eyesore next door, here’s where you can register your protest. Even if your candidate loses, the winner will read the results carefully, and the closer the contest, the louder the message. On the other hand, you get to brag if you back the winner. Or just silently gloat.

Vote because you can. Brave people fought hard for your right to vote. Make them proud, even if they’ve been gone a long time.

It’s easier to vote now. You can do it in person on Tuesday or by absentee ballot. COVID-19 still counts as a reason for requesting a ballot. By the way, a record number of voters took advantage of this new rule a year ago. Some 1.86 million Connecticut residents voted in November 2020, and 35 percent of votes cast were by absentee ballot. We can’t remember when it’s been easier to vote. For more information, go to the secretary of the state’s absentee voting page.

There are bake sales. And you need a break from work anyway.

To find out whether you're registered to vote and where your polling place is, go to http://myvote.ct.gov/lookup.