It’s Election Day: Make it count

We urge you to head to the polls. Every passing election — even off-year ones — underscores the importance of the vote.

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“I voted” stickers handed out during early voting.

An “I voted” sticker, one of those handed out during early voting.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

There could be dozens of personal reasons why people decide not to get out on Tuesday and cast a ballot, ranging from the crush of the day’s activities to the nagging sense that their individual vote doesn’t matter.

Still, we urge you to press on and head to the polls, if you have not already cast your ballot. Every passing election, even midterm elections that traditionally have had lower turnout, underscores the importance of voter participation.

Since the Chicago Sun-Times became a nonprofit news outlet, an affiliate of Chicago Public Media and a partner with WBEZ, this Editorial Board is no longer in the business of endorsing political candidates.

But we still desire fair, equitable and honestly-run governments — and elections — at the local, state and federal level. None of that happens by accident, though. It takes an electorate willing to exercise its constitutionally protected right to vote.

Early voting has been high in Chicago and elsewhere around the country. Let’s keep it up, America.

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‘History teaches the importance of voting’

What’s at stake this election? Everything.

For one thing, voters today can send a clear message against the onslaught of election season misinformation by making informed decisions based on legitimate sources of news and information — rather than the hokum that can be found on social media or in those scare-mongering “newspapers” that have shown up in mailboxes and are paid for by political operatives.

And in these increasingly uncertain economic times, it’s important for voters to remember that our government must guide us through these straits and, when needed, step up to provide assistance and relief to those in need.

Voters can help make sure that happens by acting as a bulwark against those — no matter the political party — who want this election, and future elections, to lead to government that does not reflect the will of the people.

“Voting is a muscle, and it takes exercise,” as MIT history professor Chris Capozzola said last month in a panel discussion titled “Why the 2022 Elections May Determine the Future of Democracy in the U.S.”

“History teaches the importance of democratic practice, of voting, over and over again,” Capozzola said. 

Head to the polls — with a purpose

With every election, America reinforces every citizen’s right to vote and bolsters the ideal of the United States as the land of the free. Casting a vote will help push back against those who are actively trying to make it harder to do so, and easier to disqualify legal votes.

It’s easy to lose track of that notion here in Chicagoland, where it is relatively easy to vote. In Illinois, in fact, Election Day is a state holiday, which gives more voters time to exercise their civic duty.

But elsewhere, the road to the ballot box can be tougher.

For instance, with Election Day hours away, the Washington Post reported Monday that attorneys are already working to get mail-in ballots tossed out on technicalities in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, a trio of battleground states with hotly contested races for U.S. Senate, governor and other offices.

And in Pennsylvania, the state Supreme Court last week ordered county boards of elections not to count absentee and mail-in ballots that have undated or incorrectly dated outer envelopes, even if they were received before Election Day. The order has sparked more litigation from voting rights advocates who say it could potentially disenfranchise thousands of legal voters over a mere mistake, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

These efforts underscore the value of voting.

That’s a good reason to head to the polls on Tuesday, with purpose.

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