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Moderate majority should cast vote in tomorrow’s midterm elections

Tomorrow is Election Day. It is a day when all American citizens share a fundamental right. Millions of dollars in campaign funding and endless commercials and telephone calls all have the single goal of getting individuals to go to the polls and punch, check, or click their ballot. Sheriffs and Senators stand together, their futures subject to the will of the people. On no other day is the electorate’s voice so clearly heard.

And yet, too often this voice is only an echo of what it should be. Two years ago, voter turnout was estimated at between 62 and 63 percent. If 2006 was any guide, this year’s midterm elections can expect between 35 and 40 percent. How disappointing it is that only a third of American citizens of voting age consider voting worth their time. A third of the Senate, every seat in the House of Representatives, and many governorships and local positions will be decided. The decisions these representatives make will affect more than just that third of the electorate that goes to the polls. If we do not vote, we can hardly be surprised when elected officials do not keep their promises.

It is for that reason, and many others, that we urge every student registered in Pittsburgh to go vote tomorrow. The Senate race between Republican Pat Toomey and Democrat Joe Sestak is being watched across the country. Current polls show the two candidates in a statistical tie.

In midterm elections, it is too often the radical fringes that go to the polls, leading to an ever more polarized government. Glenn Beck and MoveOn.org mobilize far-right conservatives and far-left liberals, but the center is underrepresented. When Jon Stewart rallied for sanity, he mobilized a force largely composed of moderate liberals. These moderates and others like them need to show up on Tuesday. It is up to the silent and discounted majority to speak up.