Politics: Register to vote and use your voice

West Virginia and Ohio residents have a lot to spark their interest in state and federal politics these days. No matter what side of the aisle one treads, there are plenty of reasons to either want change, or to keep things exactly as they are, if you are truly happy with the current political situation.

Politicians have shied away from bold declarations about right-sizing government, cutting waste and fraud, and forcing the government to spend within its means.

But they are less shy about saying one thing to get elected and behaving in precisely the opposite manner once they believe they are safe in office. They are less shy about advocating legislation that thumbs its nose at the Constitution, about closing the curtains on what should be the citizens’ open window to the way their money is being spent, and about ignoring promises that certain legislation would be on the agenda when in fact no such thing ever materialized.

Primary election day is May 8 in both Ohio and West Virginia.

Deadline for voter registration before the primary in Ohio is April 9; in West Virginia, it is April 17. Young people who are 17 now, but will be 18 before the Nov. 6 general election may register. They can vote in the primary, in West Virginia.

If you are unhappy with the folks in Charleston, Columbus and Washington, D.C., do something about it. Do not assume other like-minded individuals will take care of the vote for you.

Of course the same holds true if you genuinely believe your elected officials are working for you, and would like to see them all continue that work.

Social media is not the apex of civic engagement, folks. If you care, if you are fired up, if you want to make a difference, or if you simply hope for more of the same, do something about it. Register, and vote.