IN TWO days, all the campaign rhetoric will go silent.

This election has been one marked by boundless spending and mudslinging. President Obama and Mitt Romney each has poured more than a billion dollars into their run for the White House.

Candidates at nearly every level have spewed some venom against their foe. Such negative stumping has turned off many voters.

Many feel this is the most important presidential election ever. While that may play out over time, the Obama-Romney race is definitely too close to call. As always is the case, Ohio is one of the key battleground states, key to an Electoral College triumph.

While the outcome of the presidential race will shape our nation’s future, countless local races of importance are on the Nov. 6 ballot. Commissioners, judges and sheriffs and other officeholders will be chosen.

What would an election be without levies and other money issues? Many school districts throughout the Ohio Valley are seeking new funding.

A refreshing sidelight to Tuesday’s election is the the strong interest that early voting has attracted.

In Belmont County alone, close to a quarter of eligible voters have already cast their ballots. We believe that is a noteworthy achievement.

Early voting makes sense, offering convenience and an ability to study the ballot in-depth.

Many individuals remain traditionalists and prefer going to the pools on election day. Should that be the case, we emphasize the need for every eligible voter to go to the polls, regardless of your stance on various races and issues

As has been demonstrated many times in recent years right here in this area, a handful of votes — even one vote — can make all the differences in any race.

So if you haven’t voted early, please do so Tuesday.