Exercise your most fundamental right

The polls are open on Tuesday for voters from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. across Jefferson County for a variety of choices voters may make that will affect their future.

From electric bills in Mingo Junction to who represents parts of the city on council in Steubenville to school levies, voters are being asked to participate in the most basic right of the citizenry in America: The right to participate directly in government.

Please don’t take that lightly. In other nations, people are threatened, coerced and killed, given only one choice or no choice at all when it comes to the basic right to vote.

In America, for all our complaints about the system, the government and how wrong things may be, we still have the fundamental right – and duty – to let our votes do the talking.

This election is a quiet one. There aren’t big congressional races or gubernatorial choices or even a county commissioner’s seat at stake. There is no big PAC money pouring in bombarding voters with all kinds of negative information.

But there are important decisions to make. This kind of election is, perhaps, the most important kind. Voters can make direct choices on taxes, on who among their neighbors will speak for their part of the city, on what should happen to electric rates.

And, with the countywide JVS school levy on the ballot, every polling place is open, and every citizen has a decision to make, even if it’s the only choice in a given precinct.

And the vote totals will be in the dozens or hundreds, not the hundreds of thousands or millions, so a single vote either way truly makes a visible difference in the outcome of these elections.

And that all begins with the most basic choice of being an American citizen: The choice to go to the polls.

Absentee ballotting has taken place, and Tuesday is the day of the final chance to have some say in big decisions.

Election season may have been quiet, but there are no small elections.