Moaning about Sunderland and the state of the nation is all very well, but casting your vote is vital

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You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t have an opinion on the state of the nation.

Walk into any pub or club in our community, buttonhole a punter, and ask them what they’d do to sort out this country and they’d give it to you with both barrels, and sometimes in the most colourful of language.

Certainly online there have been no holds barred as the political party leaders and their teams have come under intense scrutiny and merciless ribbing from all quarters. But your appreciation of all those clever memes and incisive views will count for naught if you don’t cast your vote.

Your opinions are welcome and we have loved reading them online and on our letters pages, but it’s your vote that is vital.

Sunderland prides itself on the being the first to return its election results. But nothing would please us more than for Sunderland to fail to come first due to a higher than expected turn-out.

Given the events of the last few weeks, the manifestos of all the political parties and their plans for our country have been brought into sharp focus.

There is much at stake. What a pity then if people did not take the opportunity to shape the future.

Voter apathy is the biggest disappointment in every election, with barely 60% bothering to put their cross in the box.

Apathy must not be the biggest winner today.

Everyone has an opinion on their community and their country, but it is best expressed, not by a missive to your newspaper, a moan down the pub, or an emoji on your Facebook page, but by placing that little cross on the ballot paper.

We don’t care how you vote, we care only that you vote. Pleased don’t waste it.