Stop writing and vote!

One of the benefits of being an American is the right to sound off. At President Clinton. Governor Wilson. The city council, the school board and, if you're a lawyer, at the State Bar of California.

For 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, you can talk about your problems. Once in a while, you can actually do something.

Such an opportunity will come May 24. In a plebiscite ordered by the legislature, attorneys will receive ballots from the State Bar. The one and only question is whether the mandatory state bar should be abolished.

The issue has been argued loud and long in this newspaper and elsewhere. We'll not repeat those arguments in this space. You can find all you want to know, and more besides, in letters, columns and news stories.

As attorneys will do, you have been eager to state your opinions. Since the plebiscite debate began last August, we have printed 57 letters on the subject. Forums and debates have been held throughout the state.

You've been informed. But are you interested?

Do you care enough about your profession, your livelihood, your obligation to the public, to take a moment to mark and return your ballot?

Or will you follow the example of other Americans who shun the polling place in ever-increasing numbers?

We hope not. The issue of a mandatory bar is too important to be determined by a tiny slice of the electorate.