How many times since the last election have you complained about the outcome?
How many times since the last election have you celebrated the outcome?
How many of you voted in the last election?
Whether you were happy or not about the outcomes in that election - or any election, for that matter - you know you can't complain if you didn't vote.
It is the right, the responsibility, and the privilege of every American citizen to vote, whether it's for the president of the United States or the local land and soil commissioner.
This Nov. 6 will offer another opportunity to let your voice be heard.
This is where it all starts - with the local elections. Consider that someone who is running for a council seat now might be very good in that position and decide to run for a higher office next time.
Consider that those who have been in office for a while might be doing a fantastic job of representing his or her constituents. Or those officials might have overstayed their usefulness. Vote accordingly.
If you don't like how one of your incumbent representatives voted on a matter of interest to you, check out the opponent and see if that person reflects your ideas and views more accurately.
How do you know if a candidate will be a proponent for the issues that matter to you? If you don't know, visit his or her website and read their platform, their views, their positions.
You can also visit a couple of non-partisan election websites to gain lots more information. The League of Women Voters, a national organization, hosts Vote411.org, a site that gives users information on the candidates in each race.
The coolest thing is you just type in your home address - the one on your voter registration card. Click "enter" to see who is on your ballot for each race.
You can also learn more about your candidates by reading about them on the site. All candidates in our state and local elections were asked a series of questions by the LWV Hilton Head-Bluffton Area organization. Each candidate had the same allotment of words (characters, actually) in which to answer the questions.
In each race, users can see photos of the candidates, read a little about each one, compare one to another, and even select a choice that will be recorded on your own ballot summary. (Your information is not saved; it will be lost when you leave the page.)
When you're done making your choices, click the "finish" button at the top of the list, then enter your phone number or email address to receive your ballot summary.
Another good site is SCvotes.org, operated by the South Carolina Election Commission. In addition to information on just about any aspect of the upcoming - and previous - elections, a registered voter can enter the county, name and birthdate and see all your voting districts, then view and print a sample ballot.
If you're eligible but not registered to vote, you can get that information here too. (Note that it's too late to register for this election, but you can register now for the next one).
Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 6. Surely you can find a few minutes over those 12 hours to go to your polling place and let your voice be heard. It's your privilege. Take advantage of it.