With all the name-calling going on this election season, it’s tempting to keep mum lest you be labeled unkindly (or lose a friend in a heated debate over voting for the other guy).

But there’s one place where people’s actions and voices are equal: In the voting booth.

October 6 is the last day you can register to vote in Hawaii. Download the form or fill it out online and print, then turn it in before 4.30 pm on that day. Even before you punch the ticket we’ll be one step closer to getting off the bottom of the voter turnout list.

Then get informed. Know our home candidates and how they’ve voted, then figure out what you think about key issues such as to rail or not to rail.

After local, look global. Read where McCain and Obama stand on the issues, hear it straight from the horses’ mouths, and do your own reconnaissance.

Help everyone exercise suffrage by volunteering to work the polls. And don’t forget to vote on November 6—you may even be allowed two hours off work to do so. Then email this post to your friends.

Because unlike the time when your friend asked you if her singing was good enough to try out for America’s Got Talent…

This is no time to keep your opinions to yourself.

(excerpted from my article in 9/30 Lei Chic)