Every day, our mailboxes are overflowing and our favorite television programs are interrupted with a constant barrage about which candidate is the lesser of two evils, and robo-calls are a daily occurrence. Signs have sprouted in most every lawn and along streets and highways. So many people are commenting about how they will be ever so relieved when this year’s election is over and what a pain in the neck (not to mention other places) all of this political stuff can be.

Be that as it may, voting is our golden opportunity to choose people who represent our cities, our county, our state and our country — and it is a right and a privilege to be able to vote in this upcoming election, especially this election where every day brings yet another round of “she said/he said” revelations, myth and folklore. There are ballot measures that will affect our schools, funding for health care and seniors, among other things.

If you haven’t voted, you have several days to do so. Take the time to read about the issues and the candidates who are running for elective office. These candidates may be your friends and neighbors, the folks you see in the checkout line at the grocery store, people you sit next to at our local restaurants. Find out what they have to say, and take the time to learn how they feel about the issues that are near and dear to your heart. Most of the candidates have websites where you can get even more information. If you don’t have a computer, our local libraries have them available for you to use.

Talk to your neighbors and friends about your views, and share ideas with others. Be gracious when other folks discuss their points of view and their feelings, and listen to what they have to say. You might learn something you didn’t know before. Encourage everyone to take part in this very important civic duty. Show your kids that government really works for everyone by having information available and talking about the issues.

As Oregonians, we are fortunate to have a vote-by-mail system so we can take all the time we need to review the ballot and carefully make our choices without worrying about all those people standing in line. On the lighter side, we can sit in our comfy jammies with a cat in our lap, and a cup of coffee and a plate of scones on the table. It doesn’t get any better (or easier) than this.

Please remember to carefully read your ballot and vote like your vote matters — because it really does.

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