Confusion or apathy about the marquee race on Tuesday's ballots should not keep voters from making their way to polling places in order to decide races much closer to home.
In many ways, voters are affected more by their decisions on local ballot measures - such as school levies, local sheriff's races, and, of course, their choice for governor. Each vote matters.
While votes may appear to get lost in the millions being counted for the presidential election, races such as those for county commissioners are sometimes decided by margins in the single digits. Ten people who decide not to make the effort to cast their votes could make the difference for a candidate who will be thrilled they stayed home - or went to vote.Time and again we are told it is our privilege and duty as citizens of the U.S. to cast our votes in the free elections so many generations have fought to gain and preserve.
But it is also your duty as a resident of your municipality, county, school district and state. In some ways, decisions made at those levels will bear on our daily lives as much as who will occupy the Oval Office for the next four years.
If you have not already cast an early ballot, get out Tuesday and vote. Do not let mixed messages from national campaign ads, bad weather, the imaginary inconvenience of taking half an hour out of your day, or any other excuse keep you from shaping the future of your own community.