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Editorial: Vote today

Predictions of what voter turnout will look like for today’s statewide special election for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by John Kerry aren’t good.

Interest is said to be low, what with the arrival of summer, schools beginning vacation and the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup finals. Plenty of communities are predicting that for this contest between Gabriel Gomez and Edward Markey, the turnout will be even less than the primary that took place in April.

That can’t be seen as encouraging, especially for communities like Greenfield and Montague, where town contests are piggy backing on the statewide polling.

Let’s prove the predictions wrong. Go out and vote today.

Electing someone to the U.S. Senate should need no additional motivation. Those elected are representing the interests of Massachusetts, as they have been since 1789 when Tristram Dalton and Caleb Strong served. Since then, Massachusetts has had the famous — John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, John and Edward Kennedy — and the not as famous — Christopher Gore, Eli P. Ashmun and Isaac C. Bates — step forward to be the people’s voice in this chamber of Congress.

We would like to think that what motivates these Senate candidates, and for that matter anyone running for a town or school office, is what Margaret Chase Smith, a U.S. senator from Maine once said, “Public service must be more than doing a job efficiently and honestly. It must be a complete dedication to the people and to the nation.”

This “complete dedication,” however, presupposes the public’s informed participation in the process, that of casting ballots, even when sadly there are no contests, no different points of view offered to the electorate.

The bottom line here is that as voters, we should not be complaining about our elected leaders if we don’t take the time to exercise the right to vote, one so entwined with our history as a state and nation.

The polls are open: Vote today.

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