Today is Election Day, and although many believe the mayoral and aldermanic races has already been decided, Yale students should still make the effort to cast their votes at the polls.

Voting today is not only about expressing a preference for a particular set of candidates. Most importantly, it is a way for Yale students to show that they are interested in voicing their opinions about New Haven’s future.

Low Yale voter turnout in the past has led members of the University and city residents alike to question the commitment of Yale students to New Haven, and students have often responded with further disillusionment and apathy. But any student who feels compelled to disparage the condition or leadership of the city should also feel compelled to vote in today’s election — or he will otherwise have no legitimate reason to complain.

In another way, casting a vote today is perhaps more meaningful than it has ever been in our lifetimes. When terrorists attacked the United States on Sept. 11, they intended to strike a blow against our democratic system and our freedom. There is perhaps nothing more central to the democratic system than voting, and if Yale students turn out to vote today for even that reason alone, we should all feel content and proud.