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Make your voice heard

Voting gives Americans a say in the future

For those who have not yet voted, time is running out.

After a seemingly endless campaign season and weeks of early voting, Election Day is finally near. On Tuesday, thousands of people will go to the polls to decide who will lead our nation, state and community.

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday. A listing of Webster County polling places and their locations is in today’s edition of The Messenger.

If you have not voted already, do not miss this chance to make your voice heard. Casting a ballot is a crucial way for everyday citizens to help shape the future.

Anyone thinking about skipping this election ought to remember that their right to vote has been secured by generation after generation of American military members, starting with the Minutemen who faced the British at Lexington and Concord in 1775. The inconvenience of standing in line at a polling place is insignificant compared to the sacrifices those troops made so that it would be possible for an American to vote.

Also remember that there are people enduring life in dictatorships all over the world who would like nothing more than the chance to pick their own leaders. By voting, we Americans get to do something that millions of others across the globe can only dream about.

For those who have fallen into the trap of believing their vote doesn’t count, here is some history to consider. 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, former Gov. Tom Vilsack won his party’s nomination by less than two votes per precinct.

For months, the candidates have been telling we the people what they want and what they don’t want. Yes, it has been tiresome at times. But now it is our turn.

We urge everyone, regardless of their political affiliation, to get out and vote. Make sure your voice is heard in this year’s election.

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