You’ve got the power, so go out Nov. 5 and use it. There are few, if any, acceptable excuses not to vote. It is your right, your privilege, and your responsibility. Without hesitation, I can say my mother, who will be 89 on Nov. 10, and I will head to our polling place Tuesday morning.

And what an Election Day it’s going to be. Our pages have been filled in recent weeks with support for and reasons why a certain candidate is the best choice. Yes, without hesitation, I’m going to say it’s going to be a doozy of a day.

We are so fortunate to have Teresa Smithson and her staff in the Voter Registrar/Direction of Elections office taking care of Hanover County’s voters and precincts. They prepare well in advance and are ready for whatever situation may arise.

They also are some of the nicest and cooperative government representatives I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with in elections.

As always, polls will open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. So you have plenty of time to get out and vote.

And, yes, I am a firm believer that every vote counts. My father instilled in me as I approached the age of 18 about how important it is that I take part in the election process.

There have been times throughout the years, especially when special elections are held on Saturday, that I feel a bit lazy. And then I can hear my dad’s words, and head to the polls.

We do not endorse candidates in our publications. Our words of encouragement always encourage everyone who is registered to vote.

I’ll admit that there was a time when I was party-driven in my voting choices. Well, it didn’t take long for me to realize that I needed to be better informed about the candidates, their platforms, their philosophies, and characters.

Buford T. Justice, the Jackie Gleason character in “Smokey and the Bandit,” received a vote for sheriff in my home county. Dad never would admit to it, but I always suspected that was his write-in, because he didn’t care for either candidate in the race. He was a serious voter, so I know he didn’t take that write-in lightly -- if he did it.

The bottom line is: It’s up to you -- and only you. Express yourself and stand up for the ability to go vote. Some countries aren’t as fortunate.

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