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The importance of voting in Tuesday’s election

Voting matters. It’s that simple. Tuesday’s election probably is one of the most important in our lifetimes. In Tennessee, we’re picking a president, a U.S. Senator, and congressional members. There are also local races, such as the Elizabethton School Board and City Council.
Having your voice heard is important. Local, state, and federal elected leaders make decisions that affect all aspects of our lives, from local tax rates, to when schools open, to where roads go, and how our tax money is spent.
Early voting has reached unprecedent levels this year, not only in Carter County, but all across the state and nation. People have stood in line for hours to cast their ballot. Some of it has had to do with the pandemic…others like the convenience of early voting. Whatever the reason, early voting records have been shattered locally and elsewhere.
No matter by what method you cast your ballot, make sure you do. It’s your opportunity to let your voice be heard. Help shape your community through your vote, and become part of the solution.
As a country, we have come a long way. In 1776, those allowed to vote had to fall under strict requirements: you had to be white, male, and a landowner.
It wasn’t until 1920 that women were allowed to vote. The privilege was extended to all races under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 44 years after women were allowed and sadly, only five decades ago.
It’s been an uphill climb to allow every citizen the right to go to the polls. Throughout our nation’s history, people have fought — and sometimes died — in order to have a say in an election. Which is why we implore our residents to make the time to visit the polls for the primary election on Tuesday, Nov. 3, if you have not voted early.
Leaders of both major political parties agree on one thing: 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 that of your children and grandchildren will be affected profoundly.
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.
Vote, then, and spread the word about how important it is to do so. You can make a difference there, too.