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Make your voice heard

The time is now, people of the Ohio Valley.

Tuesday is Election Day in America.

We will be voting to select the most powerful person in the land and choosing the voices that will speak for us in Washington, D.C., and in Columbus.

We also have plenty of important choices to make at the local level, and those are choices that likely will have more real impact on our day-to-day lives.

In Belmont, Jefferson and Monroe counties, residents will choose county commissioners. The auditor and recorder officers are up for grabs in Belmont County, and Harrison County will choose a new prosecutor.

Various school districts, fire and police departments and other government entities also are asking voters to renew existing levies or to approve new ones to add funds to their coffers. In a few cases across the region, voters are being asked to approve changes to alcohol sales restrictions for certain businesses.

The people who will be seated following this election will make choices for you and your children. They will influence what happens in your hometowns, whether dilapidated buildings are demolished, when roads are repaired and what extracurricular activities are available at local schools.

The funding issues will determine what vehicles and equipment emergency responders have to utilize, how government facilities are maintained and more. They also will determine how much you will pay in taxes.

And, yes, some of the people we elect will represent us on the world stage.

Electing a president is no small matter, and all voters should consider that choice carefully. The same is true of races among people hoping to be our state and federal lawmakers.

Each one of us who is a registered voter has a right — and a responsibility — to help make these decisions by going to the polls and casting a ballot.

Or, because of the coronavirus pandemic or some other reason, you may choose to do your part by completing and mailing an absentee ballot.

You can also deliver such a ballot in person to your county board of elections by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.

You can also choose to take advantage of early, in-person voting options that remain available from 1-5 p.m. today and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday at your county elections headquarters.

On Tuesday — or before — make sure you do your part.

And remember, in the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt: “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”

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