Washington state is expecting a 47% turnout in this election — and people bitch and moan about how nothing ever changes.

I support the #occupy movement. But I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that if every one of the #occupy protesters actually voted, there are a lot of races that wouldn’t be as close as they end up being. If every #occupy protester told their friends to vote — and not just, “you should vote,” but “no, seriously, YOU SHOULD VOTE, we’re going to the polls/filling out our ballots now,” a lot of races wouldn’t even be close.

Yes, protests are important. Yes, we need to make our voices heard. But we also need to remember that shouting in the streets isn’t the only way to make our voices heard. Fill out your ballot. Put it in the mail. Put it in a drop box. If you don’t live somewhere where you can vote by mail, then take the hour out of your day to go to the polls.

But don’t ignore your right to vote, then bitch because nothing ever changes.

And don’t whine that “my vote doesn’t make a difference,” or “it’s just one vote.” Over the past couple decades, we’ve seen too many elections, national and local, where recounts were triggered because the final tally was so close. A few more votes — those tiny, insignificant, single votes — all of a sudden aren’t so minuscule.