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Editorial: Raise your voice, cast your vote

November 29, 2018

Decisions, decisions.

The months of ads are coming to an end. The signs have made their impact. You’ve gotten all the postcards and the phone calls and the knocks on your door.

Tuesday is Election Day.

The minute you walk into the voting booth, all of the pleading and the mud fades to background noise. The candidates have had their chance. Now it’s time to make your choice.

You get to take it all into consideration. You can decide if this TV spot or that YouTube video made a real difference to you. You can toss that aside and think about the candidate forum you went to or the debate you watched online.

You can think about the newspaper articles you read about this guy running for governor or that one that already has the job. You can think about everything you have taken in about the candidates on the ballot for the U.S. Senate.

There are the people running for Congress in this race.

There are the ones up for state Legislature.

Let’s face it -- there’s a lot going on. It seems like the midterms have been being waged since the minute the counting was done after the 2016 presidential election. The 2017 elections were barely a blip on the radar compared to the all-out focus on 2018 by Democrats and Republicans alike on the national, state and local levels.

The stakes are made to feel downright apocalyptic. Vote one way, and there are plenty of people loudly telling you that will lead to anarchy. Vote the other way and you’ve got a chorus loudly informing you that you are advocating for goose-stepping martial law.

It’s all very big picture, but when it comes to something as important as your vote, it’s OK to focus small.

The important things are made up of small pieces. According to Gallup polling, the most important issues to voters are health care, the economy and immigration. That’s not hard to see, but thinking about them as big concepts can make them seem intimidating.

Don’t let it be scary. Think about what the issues mean to you and your family and vote accordingly.

Vote for what health care means to your kids. Vote for how decisions about the economy can affect your job or your bank account. Vote for immigration policies that make sense for your life.

You can haggle about the right way to vote. You can argue all day on Thanksgiving about who got elected and how people should have cast their ballots. Everyone has an opinion about it, and everyone has an opinion about why, exactly, someone might be wrong.

But there is only one wrong way to vote, and that’s to not vote at all.

Tuesday is your chance to be heard. Don’t be quiet.

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