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Exercise your civic duty and vote today

Have you voted yet?

Polls open at 7 a.m. today in the general election for mid-term congressional races and other positions throughout the nation.

In Mississippi, we are voting for both of the state’s U.S. Senate positions, the one vacated in March by longtime U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and the seat currently held by U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., who is seeking re-election.

In Adams County, voters will select a candidate to fill the Third Congressional District seat vacated by U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss.; and several judge positions, including Mississippi Supreme Court, chancery and circuit court judge positions, none of which are contested, however, and the Court of Appeals District 4 position for which three candidates are vying.

Hopefully, you have been following the issues and candidates and already know for whom you will vote for before you go into the voting booth.

As citizens, I believe it is our duty to stay educated on the issues and to make informed decisions about the people we will entrust with making decisions that will affect our lives and the future of the nation.

Remember, elected officials work for us, the people. We are the CEOs, and they are like our contract employees.

If you are not satisfied with the direction things are going, this is your chance to register your voice, and in the case of Senate seats, that choice comes up only once every six years and the House of Representatives seat every two years.

If you don’t exercise your right to vote, then you really don’t have a voice to complain about the direction our leaders take.

Voting is a right for which many generations have fought and died in the United States of America, including North Ogden City, Utah, Mayor Brent Taylor who died Saturday in an “insider” attack in Afghanistan where he was serving his latest tour as a National Guardsman.

Taylor believed in democracy and laid down his life defending democracy at home and abroad.

Days before his death, Taylor’s last social media post drove the point home and has since captured the nation’s attention.

That final post cheered the courage millions of Afghan men and women displayed by going to the polls to vote in Afghanistan’s first parliamentary election in eight years despite death threats and deadly attacks from the Taliban.

“I am proud of the brave Afghan and US soldiers I serve with,” Taylor wrote in that final social media post. “Many American, NATO allies, and Afghan troops have died to make moments like this possible; for example, my dear friend Lieutenant Kefayatullah who was killed fighting the Taliban the day before voting began. As the USA gets ready to vote in our own election next week, I hope everyone back home exercises their precious right to vote. And that whether the Republicans or the Democrats win, that we all remember that we have far more as Americans that unites us than divides us. ‘United we stand, divided we fall.’ God Bless America.”

Amen!

Let’s make Taylor and millions of others who’ve made the supreme sacrifice proud today.

What are you waiting for? Get to the polls before they close at 7 p.m. and may the best candidates win.

Scott Hawkins is editor of The Natchez Democrat. Reach him at 601-445-3540 or scott.hawkins@natchezdemocrat.com.

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