There are many programs The American Legion sponsors and conducts. “Get out the Vote” is one such program. From the beginning, the Legion has believed it is not only a right that Americans fought and died for, but that it is a duty and responsibility of all eligible citizens to vote. By law, The American Legion is a nonpartisan organization. While in official uniform or on official Legion business, we cannot be partisan in our politics. We just believe everyone should vote for their candidate(s).

In Connecticut, you must meet three standards in order to register to vote. One, be at least 17 years, and turn 18 years before the election (in other words, you may register to vote at 17 but must be 18 on election day). Two, be a United States citizen, living in Connecticut. Three, if you have been convicted of a felony, you must have completed confinement and parole.

In Wilton, register to vote in person at the town hall, 238 Danbury Road.

If a Connecticut family member goes to school out of state, is a member of the military, lives out of the country, is ill or disabled, they may use the absentee ballot to vote.

The easiest and fastest way to register or obtain an absentee ballot, is online at portal.ct.gov.

The next step after registering is to learn where your particular polling place is located. This is available at your town hall registrar of voters office. In Wilton, visit the registrars’ web page at wiltonct.org.

Before voting, it is always important to know who the candidates are and what their stances are on issues important to you. Research can be done in many forms, but the most important thing to do is find those candidates you can vote for and trust. For example, there are three topics at the top of my list to look for before I vote: where that person stands on the military and their families, veteran’s issues and the postal service. It doesn’t matter what issues you deem important, as long as they mean something to you.

Finally, just go vote. I believe that if you do not vote, you have no right to complain about politics and politicians. You may think one vote won’t make a difference. In 2018, nationally, only 53 percent of registered voters went to the polls, the highest total in 40 years. That means 47 percent gave up their right to vote. How many people do you know would give up the right to free speech?

As part of our service to community, this year being a very important election year, Post 86 will be active in “Getting out the Vote.” We will be holding a voter registration drive at the post, as well as making available registration forms at the post and wherever we visit. Spread the word to family and friends; don’t argue politics, but make a difference with your vote.

Please take a minute, confirm you are registered to vote, if not, then take time to register, then, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, vote!