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Heading to the polls

It’s all over but the shouting.

Actually, in the case of the presidential and congressional campaigns, it’s the shouting that’s over.

Today, voters get to head to the polling places, where last-second attempts to influence people’s thinking will be forced to keep their distance. This allows citizens across the region and beyond to be alone with their own thoughts as they exercise their right to vote.

Quiet and just a bit of solitude for a serious moment.

Taking part in voting as part of our process in electing leaders should be taken seriously. It’s our chance to finally have a direct voice — it’s no longer a matter of conjecture on the parts of pundits or self-appointed authorities on all things political. Nor is what pollsters say they’re being told by Americans.

No, today is the day the nation makes all the prognosticators either look good or fall flat on their faces.

So go out and vote.

We have never understood the willingness of people to stay home, not when it’s our part of our civic duty to decide our leaders. The foundation of our country and its freedoms are built, in part, on this right. Look around the world and you’ll see people willing to endure harm and risk their lives to take part in elections that bring about change. Here, too, people continue to act so that our election process is open and transparent and that those we elect can be held accountable.

Voting also demonstrates a belief in our representative democracy, warts and all.

As Thomas Jefferson said, “Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.”

Whether you are vocal in your politics and keep your thoughts to yourself, today is the day to be heard.

And just in case there’s a need to remember The Recorder’s thinking when it comes to this election, we have endorsed Barack Obama for a second term. And as for the statewide ballot questions, we urge a “no” vote on Question 1 that deals with suggested changes to a law concerning car repairs and a “yes” vote on Question 3 that would create a law governing marijuana use for medical purposes.

Take the time and be heard — go vote.

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