In this day and age, NO ONE should have to be reminded of how extremely important it is to vote, or of the price that was paid to give everyone the right. That said, if there was ever a need to vote it's RIGHT NOW. The upcoming Presidential Election on Tuesday November 8, 2016, will determine who will be the President of the United States of America for the next 4 years. Do you know who's running? Have you been paying attention? I'm not saying you need to watch the news every day, but what I am saying is you need to pay attention to the candidates who are running, and listen to their message. After all, one of these people will soon hold your life and that of your family in their hands.

If you're one of those dummies who think this election wont effect you, YOU ARE SADLY AND PROFOUNDLY MISTAKEN! If you're one of those people who says your vote doesn't count: First of all, that's a lame excuse and a cop-out. Second, if you believe that, then you are severely misinformed. It is true one vote wont do much good. However, if everyone in your community votes, together you will absolutely make things change. Make no mistake, the voting process takes ALL of us. If you don't vote, you will pay the price; even worse, so will your family, your children, and their children.

The sooner we all get that, the better we all will be. We ALL must vote in order to have any effect on what happens to us. Our salaries, drainage, roadways, education system, down to the safety of our neighborhoods all depends on you voting. If you vote, you get what you want and what you need. If you don't vote, you'll continue to suffer and do without. It's just that simple. So if you have to drag family, friends or co-workers kicking and screaming to register to vote or to vote on election day, do so. On election day (local, state or national), show-up and take control of what happens to you and your family. Maybe even offer to provide a ride for friends or neighbors who don't have transportation.

With all the technology we have, there is absolutely no excuse for anyone not to vote. If you're a senior or disabled and have no way to the polls, they will mail you a ballot. Click here to register for an absentee/mail-in ballot. Are you in the military and will be oversees during the election? Click here for your absentee/mail-in ballot. Gonna be on vacation, sick, or away at school on election day? To find out if you qualify for absentee voting/mail-in ballots, click here. If you just need to register to vote, the easiest way to do so is online at www.geauxvote.com or download the FREE app. This app will also tell you the dates of upcoming elections in your area, where your voting precinct is, show your ballot so you can check it out before you go to the polls and much more. Everyone has a cell phone, tablet or computer these days, so again there's no excuse not to vote. This is especially true if you're a minority, Muslim or Hispanic.

If you have a question, if you need help getting registered, if you moved and you're not sure where your new precinct is, or if you recently registered to vote and want to make sure you're in the system, call the Lake Charles Registrar of Voters today at (337) 721-4000 and get the info you need. They are located at 1000 Ryan St. in suite 7, on the second floor of the court house downtown. You may also email the Registrar of Voters, Angela M. Quienalty, at CALDWELLROV@SOS.LA.GOV. Not a Lake Charles resident? To find out where the Registrar of Voters Office is located in your area, click here.

Teach your children the importance of voting and show them it's important to stand-up for themselves. To take a stand against what's right and wrong. Take a stand against injustice, racism and racial profiling. If you don't do it for yourselves, who else will?  YOU possess the power to hire and fire politicians on the city, state and national levels of government with a single act: YOUR VOTE. Bring your family and kids with you to the polls and start an important family legacy.

Did you know there is a deadlines to register to vote?  Well there is. The 2016 Presidential Election and Congressional Primary Election are on November 8.  Below are the dates and deadlines concerning the election:

October 11, 2016 is the last day to register to vote in the Presidential Election and Congressional Primary Election (where voters select a candidate that they believe should be a member of the Senate.)

Early voting begins October 25 through November 1st (except Sunday and holidays) from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at your area Registrar of Voters Office

Last day to request an absentee/mail-in ballot for the Presidential Election is 4:30 p.m. on November 4.

On November 8, America will also vote on who to send to Washington to work with the President in Congress (which consists of two houses: the Senate & House of Representatives.)  The first election on this is called the Congressional Primary Election. This is basically a process of elimination of the candidates running for the position. This is also an extremely important election as it will determine what party (Democrat or Republican) will run and control the Senate. These are the people who can help or stop the President from passing bills and achieving his or her agenda.

This is why there is so much drama in Washington today.  Right now, both houses in Congress are controlled by Republicans. Because of this, President Barack Obama, a Democrat, has had an uphill battle trying to get things done. The two sides can't see eye-to-eye on anything. Congress fights him tooth-and-nail on just about every bill he tries to pass, create or change. Now we the voters have a chance to stop the chaos and constant back-and-forth in Washington.

A total of 34 seats out of the 100 will be up for grabs in the U.S. Senate, so WE have a MAJOR opportunity to make some changes here. So for a recap, the Congressional Primary Election for a variety of candidates running to earn a seat in the U.S. Senate will be November 8, 2016. In this process, voters will narrow the list of candidates down by selecting those most qualified for the job. This will be followed by the Congressional General Election, were voters actually elect the best candidates to the U.S. Senate on December 10. From there, those elected will begin their their six-year terms on January 3, 2017.

Below is the deadlines to register to vote in the upcoming Congressional General Election on December 10, 2016.

November 9, 2016 is the last day to register to vote in the Congressional General Election.

December 6, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. is the last day to request an absentee/mail-in ballot for the Congressional General Election. Voters can also make this request online through the voter portal or in writing through your Registrar of Voters Office.

Early voting is November 26 through December 3 (except Sunday and holidays) from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at your area Registrar of Voters Office

For more voter and election information visit www.sos.la.gov