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Getting out the vote is vital for this election

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.

Don’t you want to have a say in the matter? 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.

Despite the COVID-19 epidemic, there is no reason for such 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.

As of Wednesday mid-day 13,823 absentee ballots has been requested in Columbiana County with 11,490 already returned. Some 6,298 in-person votes have been cast in our county. In Mahoning County as of early week about 55,000 ballots were requested with 33,000 returned and 13,000 voting in-person.

In Ohio, ballots postmarked as late as Nov. 2 will be counted if received by Nov. 13. Mail-in ballots can be taken on Tuesday only to the Board of Elections prior to the 7:30 deadline and no other location. The address is 7889 Dickey Drive, Suite 3, Lisbon.

A total of 63,554 citizens were registered to vote this past May in the primary. A total of 13, 523 actually voted. In the 2016 presidential election, county residents cast 47,025 votes. A total of 65,627 were registered to vote meaning a whopping 71.65 percent of those registered did actually vote. Donald Trump received 68 percent of those votes.

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.

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