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Primary Election Day is Tuesday

Don’t fail to participate in upcoming election

Primary election day is almost upon us. On Tuesday, citizens have the opportunity to shape the future of not only their party but our community, state and nation as well.

Amazingly, many people choose not to vote. That poses a serious threat to our democratic system.

If you are one of those who think that individual votes don’t matter, it may be useful to recall a bit of history.

In the 2000 presidential election, if a few more people had showed up to vote in Florida, George W. Bush might now be known primarily for his service as governor of Texas. In 1960, the presidential vote was so close that the outcome was decided by about one vote per precinct nationwide. Right here in Iowa, in the 1998 Democratic primary, Tom Vilsack won his party’s nomination by less than two votes per precinct.

A few nonvoters could have altered subsequent history.

More troubling is the belief some people hold that who wins will have no impact on them personally.

Over time, such non-participation undermines the legitimacy of the governmental system. It becomes hard to claim that officeholders reflect the will of the public when so many people had no role in their selection.

This week, we all have the chance to demonstrate we understand that the right to vote is precious.

If you’ve already voted early or by absentee ballot, congratulations. You are doing your part.

If not, defend your democratic birthright by voting Tuesday.

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