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If you’ve been tuned into the news for the last two weeks, you’ve probably heard or seen coverage of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. It’s the time of year where up-and-coming members of both parties rally their constituents and delegates to support their candidate during the presidential election. Like most people, you’re probably glad the coverage and hype is over.

Now the real fun begins — debates, ads, additional campaign tours and more. As a voter, this is the time to pay attention to not only what the candidates say, but also what they stand for, helping you decide whom to elect.

I was reading this month’s Glamour magazine, which featured an article by Kal Penn, from “Harold and Kumar” film fame, as well as roles on the television show “House.” Penn was selected as President Obama’s co-chair for the 2012 re-election campaign and as part of White House Office of Public Engagement, an organization that helps “get out the vote.” It was a great, bipartisan look at the importance of voting in the elections (you can find the magazine at your local newsstand).

The upcoming election is the chance for all eligible citizens to choose the future of the nation. If there are things you don’t like about the present administration, this is your time to elect a change. If you like things the way they are now, this is your chance to help it continue. It is one of our most basic rights that can spur changes on both local and national levels. All you have to do is register.

Registering to vote is simple. You can go to www.rockthevote.com and click “Register to Vote” on the right side of your screen. It’s easy to fill out, but will require specific information. There’s still plenty of time to register.

If you’re already registered and are a military spouse or service member, you can request an absentee ballot. They’re also easy to fill out and you will receive ballots in your mailbox or email inbox. You don’t even have to be in your home state to vote.

It doesn’t matter for whom you vote and I won’t sway you one way or the other. Politics is very personal and it isn’t my job to direct your vote — it’s the candidate’s jobs. Just remember: Do your research and make sure you know what you’re voting for. Don’t vote for someone because someone else told you to. Make the decision based on what you think is best for yourself and this nation.

Sarah Peachey

Military Spouse Blogger

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