It must be election time. Every time I turn on the television or listen to the radio, I hear constant commercials blare out reasons why you should vote for this candidate or that one. There is one message these ads promote that I wholeheartedly agree with — go out and vote.

Why should we vote? According to Kent Ninomiya, an eHow.com contributor, there are five great reasons to go to the ballot box and cast your vote.

Significance: Your vote does count. It might not be as close as some of the Internet’s false postings of elections won by one vote (see http://www.snopes.com/history/govern/onevote.asp), but it doesn’t take too many people to change a percentage point one way or the other.

Considerations: I’ve always heard the phrase “Think globally, act locally.” Sure, presidential elections are exciting and bring out many to the polls, but who really affects you and your Family? Local government passes and enforces laws on taxes and policies that affect your community’s housing, commerce, recreation, crime, health care and other areas. Make sure whoever you vote for has the same values as you. By not voting, you may have lost the chance to change policy in your child’s school or keep the local library open.

Benefits: The people we vote in during elections are in charge of our local, state and federal taxes. If you don’t find out what your representatives are doing with your hard-earned tax money, you might not like how they spend it.

History: Women, minorities and adults younger than 21 at one time could not vote. Since our country was founded, servicemembers have served when they were as young as 16. Can you imagine fighting for your country but not having a say in what your country does? I think not. Honor servicemembers and civil rights activists by exercising your civic duty.

Potential: You’re not only voting for today, you’re voting for the future of your children, your grandchildren and future generations.

Remember, our leaders make, enforce and judge laws that impact our health, religion, money and freedoms. We also have the opportunities through bonds and referendums to vote on issues directly. If you don’t vote, you have lost your chance to have your voice heard. Do your civic duty — vote.