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Voting is the right thing to do

If there is one thing I know for certain, indecision may or may not be my problem.

Making decisions isn’t always the easiest thing for me to do. Just ask my husband. Especially around lunchtime. Like many people, a simple question such as “What do you want to eat for lunch?” can turn into a hourlong debate that often — no, usually — includes the refrain: “I don’t know. What do you want?”

The difficulty in making decisions is particularly noticeable in early November every other year.

This year is no exception. The ballot is filled with tough questions, with valid points in both the pro and con arguments.

There are so many candidates for judicial positions that it’s near impossible to get a thorough picture of each one’s qualifications. Not counting the two state Supreme Court races where there are two unopposed candidates running for two open seats, there are 28 District and Family court races, each with two candidates.

It’s not much easier to determine who to vote for in the more prominent races, such as for attorney general between Jonathan Hansen, Adam Laxalt and Ross Miller. I have attended and watched debates between Laxalt and Miller. They helped a little. Ads, especially those on television, cloud the picture considerably.

However, there is one issue that is perfectly clear and requires no contemplation: Do I head to the polls or not?

The answer is an unequivocal and resounding yes.

Voting is an important right that should not be taken for granted. It is a right that countless Americans have fought and died for.

The issue of being properly represented has been at the forefront of our nation since the beginning. And although the right to vote was a key component of the Declaration of Independence, it didn’t grant grant all Americans the right to vote. It was only secured for white men who owned property.

From that time forward, the issue of voting rights has played a major part in the nation’s history. In fact, many of the amendments to the Constitution since the Civil War have something to do with the ability to vote.

The 15th Amendment, passed in 1870, grants the right to vote to all men, regardless of race, color or previous servitude.

The 17th Amendment, passed in 1913, allows voters to directly elect their representatives to the U.S. Senate.

Women are guaranteed the right to vote with passage of the 19th Amendment seven years later.

The 23rd Amendment, passed in 1961, allows residents of Washington, D.C., to vote in in presidential elections. Three years later, the 24th Amendment, which prohibits the use of a poll tax to prevent people — poor people — from voting in federal elections, passed.

The 26th Amendment, passed in 1971, lowers the voting age to 18.

And this doesn’t take into factor the numerous acts of Congress to ensure and protect voting rights for all citizens, as long as they are the proper age.

Surprisingly, with all of the amendments and laws, voting rights for all Americans weren’t really secured until 1965 when the Voting Rights Act was passed prohibiting any election practice that denies the right to vote on the basis of race.

Yes, making a decision about who to vote for when there are many candidates or what to vote for on complicated ballot questions can be a difficult proposition. Deciding whether or not to vote is not. It’s the right thing to do.

Remember, early voting ends Friday at 7 or 8 p.m. (depending on location). Election Day is Tuesday, and the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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