By the time this issue is in your hands, we will have just elected a new president, many congressmen and congresswomen, and decided the fate of countless propositions. You can imagine as I write this, many weeks earlier, the level of suspense that is still in the air. I’m not going to go anywhere near political commentary or stating my own opinion, because it’s irrelevant to what is most important: the promise of voting.

The act of voting, distilled down to its earliest definition, is a vow. It’s a wish for the right thing to happen. Some people use their precious vote on a candidate they don’t really like, just to strike against the candidate they like even less. While I understand the logic, I fear the consequences. Should our votes be wielded as weapons, defending us from some unimaginable fate?

In some societies, people don’t have the luxury of agonizing over this question. They are busy dodging trouble from a militant government, raising children, and making enough money to put food on the table. If they had an opportunity to vote for a lesser evil, they probably would do so; and who could say that was wrong? As it is, many societies don’t even have the option to vote.

Your ballot will be cast along with many, many others and you will never in your life know whether your single vote was the tipping point toward the greater good. Conversely, you will never know whether your missing vote ever tipped the scales towards an unfortunate outcome. Either way, your vote matters. So much of our lives are spent dealing with things that are sheer luck or out of our control. Our vote is one of the few tools we have with which to take a stand. As one commenter on a post about voting in put it, “Sure, my vote is a pretty small signal on its own — but it’s mine and I don’t want to rely on anyone else to send it.”

Voting can also be fun. It’s fun to study the issues, to watch the debates, to use your brain and try to determine which candidate best aligns with your own values. Voting is smart; it is the tool of thoughtful, caring people silently shouting that their vow matters.

Here at NAILS we have our own small world of choice, and though we’re serious about our contests we also try to make them fun. From Readers’ Choice Awards(add link) to our Cover Tech Contest, and on to our fast-growing NAILS Next Top Nail Artist Competition, we take every opportunity to heed the will of the reader. You’re the one out there using the products, trying the nail art designs, and understanding the incredible difficulty of mastering a perfect set of nails. If anyone has the right to vote, it’s you.

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