Whatever you do, don’t not vote in next month’s presidential election

“Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don’t vote.” William Simon, former U.S. treasury secretary, said that and he should know — he worked for Dick Nixon.

Not voting is an epidemic. Only 63 percent of eligible voters turned out for the presidential election in 2008 and that was high!

Stanley Friedman told me when his pal Abraham Lincoln was elected over 81 percent voted (true number but Stanley totally guessed as he is only 139 years old so he just missed that election). Voter turnout for Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election bid was a paltry 49 percent, and that included Monica Lewinsky voting Republican (she said the Democrats left a bad taste in her mouth).

It’s estimated that more than 60 million people died as a result of World War II, 20 million of which were military, more than 400,000 of those U.S. Military.

Yet every teenager I have ever met is more excited about getting their driver’s license than their hard fought, blood stained, right to vote.

Local election turnout is even more horrific. The Staten Island Borough President’s race usually gets about a 15 percent voter turnout. The other local races’ turnout is so small that if the candidate’s immediate family votes it can actually decide the election! That’s why I can’t run for office; my over 18 kids would sway the results in the other direction. That is funny because I’m the reason they exist and have fed and clothed them since birth, yet they disagree with just about every single thing I have ever said. Sorry, I got side tracked there.

So the point is “Don’t Not Vote!” If you’re worried about making the wrong choice because you don’t know enough about the candidates or the issues please don’t let that stop you.

It hasn’t stopped so many others as evidenced by the election of Mel Carnahan to the U.S. Senate in 2000 despite the fact that he was dead. Los Angeles voters elected Jenny Oropeza to represent them in the state senate even though she had died a month before the election. So vote, even for the dead guy (that is NOT an inadvertent endorsement for Romney).

But how do you find out about the issues and the candidates’ stance on them and figure out how to vote? You could just vote along party lines.

You could count campaign signs and divide by 1,000 and choose the number closest to your favorite. You could consult a Ouija board or put candidates’ pictures on a dart board. But, there is a better way!

On Oct. 25, the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce is holding a forum for all local candidates at the Hilton at 9 a.m. Candidates will briefly present their slates and then answer questions. What a great opportunity to find out about the candidates and their positions so you make an intelligent decision on Election Day.

Please take advantage of this and call the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce at (718) 727–1900 to reserve a spot.

I won’t beat a dead senator and tell you thousands died for your right to vote so don’t waste it by not voting. Or tell you not to complain after the election about your representative if you were too lazy to go and have your voice heard.

But I will remind you that you live in a country that not only defends your freedom but keeps it safe all over the world and if you are not walking out of a voting booth on Nov. 6 then I can honestly say as a United States citizen “You are doing it wrong.”