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Vote! Don’t sit this one out; let your voice be heard

No matter the political party, no matter the candidate supported, those who understand our government (at all levels) serves the people, rather than the other way around, agree on the importance of voting.

But this year, there is general agreement on something else: The presidential election scheduled for Tuesday is among the most important in American history. Its outcome will shape our government, economy, even our society for many years to come. Your life and those of your children and grandchildren will be affected profoundly.

You — yes, you — can make a difference … but only if you vote.

To judge by voter turnouts in previous elections, many of your friends, family members, co-workers and neighbors simply don’t care about how we are governed. They do not bother to vote. In fact, in 2016, the national average voter turnout was a little more than 55 percent.

Here in Wood County, we did slightly better. In 2016, voter turnout in the general election was 64.87 percent. We need to do better than that, folks.

Despite the COVID-19 epidemic, there is no reason for apathy this year. Absentee voting by mail, early voting in person and Election Day voting on Tuesday provide options to ensure your voice is heard.

If you are reading this, you probably understand the importance of this election. Perhaps you have voted already. But what about others you know, perhaps even in your own family or circle of friends? Are they as engaged as you are?

If not, encourage them to make a difference by voting. Offer to help, perhaps by explaining the mail-in ballot process or offering to drive them to their polling place on Tuesday.

How you vote is important, of course. But more critical in the long run is whether you participate in the election.

Our form of government — of, by and for the people — can endure only if we Americans are part of it. If we do not use the most effective tool at our disposal — the ballot — to get the kind of government we want, we will not get it. It is that simple.

Don’t sit this one out. Vote, and spread the word about how important it is to do so. You can make a difference there, too.

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