Civic Duty

Cast your vote and take part in democracy

No doubt you will be going to the polls today if you are a registered voter who has not yet cast a ballot through one of the early voting systems in West Virginia.

Right? You understand how important this year’s general election is, regardless of where you live, of course. So you will be voting, won’t you?

Polling places will open at 6:30 a.m. today. They will not close until 7:30 p.m. That should allow plenty of time for most people to cast ballots.

It is important. U.S. senators and members of the House of Representatives will be elected today. So will most members of our state legislature.

Two constitutional amendments on the ballot. Amendment 1 involves restrictions on abortions. Amendment 2 would give the Legislature some control over judicial spending.

Most counties and some municipalities will be electing officials today, too. And many voters will be deciding tax levy questions, some involving public schools.

If you are planning to do your civic duty today, bear in mind that our state has voter identification requirements. A variety of documents, such as driver’s licenses, can be accepted. In West Virginia, you can vote if one of the poll workers has known you for at least six months.

Our system of government in the United States is based on participation by the electorate.

Think about it this way, then: The constitutional amendment proposals on both states’ ballots are important to all of us. Local levy questions affect both how much we pay in taxes and the quality of various public services.

People elected to local, state and national offices today will be approving budgets and making laws that can affect us all, sometimes beneficially — and sometimes not.

So look at voting as a matter of self-defense — then get to your polling place today.