Georgia voter stickers

There are those who say Election Day should be a national holiday, and to that we say “Why not?”

Election Day is always one of the most important days of the year in this country, when the citizens get to go to the polls and make their voice heard in a most powerful way, by electing the people at the local, state and national levels who will make multiple decisions that affect their lives, from determining local property taxes to who will serve as commander-in-chief as president of the United States and possibly send loved ones and neighbors to wage war in harm’s way.

What could be more important?

We hear repeatedly that “elections have consequences,” and that is borne out in many ways, one of which is in the forefront of this year’s presidential election, as President Donald Trump has nominated a jurist, Amy Coney Barrett, to the U.S. Supreme Court. Republicans such as Trump see her as a way of cementing a conservative majority on the court for many years to come, while her detractors, including many Democrats, fear she will be a vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision in 1973 that recognized a woman’s legal right to an abortion.

This is also an important presidential election year as the nation’s voters decide whether to grant Trump four more years or to replace him with former vice president and Democrat Joe Biden, at a time when the nation seems increasingly divided and there is violence in the streets and talk of more.

The 14th Congressional District, which includes Whitfield and Murray counties, saw the importance of elections earlier this year when Marjorie Taylor Greene, a supporter of the discredited QAnon conspiracy theory, described by The Associated Press as the belief “that Trump is waging a secret campaign against ‘deep state’ enemies and a child sex-trafficking ring run by Satan-worshipping Democrats,” won the Republican primary in a deeply conservative district. Now, with the Democratic candidate withdrawn from the race (although still on the ballot), it appears almost certain there will be at least one QAnon supporter in Congress next year. The people of the district chose that outcome at the ballot box.

So it is hard to overstate the importance of voting, but we must also remember what a privilege it is, how fortunate we are to live in a country where we get to exercise that right and choose our leaders and elected officials. America as the “land of the free” is only as good as the people of this country make it, and you have your opportunity to fulfill that promise if you are registered to vote. Early voting started this week for the Nov. 3 general election.

In-person voting runs through Oct. 30. Voters can cast their ballots at either the Floyd County Administration Building Community Room at 12 E. Fourth Ave. or Garden Lakes Baptist Church at 2200 Redmond Circle, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week.

For the week of Oct. 19-23, the Floyd County Health Department located at 16 E. 12th St. will also be available for voters. For the week of Oct. 26-30, the Rome Civic Center at 400 Civic Center Drive will be open for early voting.

The county administration building and Garden Lakes Baptist Church also will be available to voters the weekends of Oct. 17-18 and Oct. 24-25.

The county administration building will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. The Garden Lakes early voting location, will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. On Sunday, it will open at 1 p.m. and close at 4 p.m.

This is your chance to “let freedom ring” by enjoying this great opportunity that this wonderful country affords you. We encourage you in the strongest way to vote. There is early voting, absentee voting and of course the traditional path of going to your polling place on Election Day.

Make your voice heard. Don’t miss this opportunity, now and also in the future. It has been said that you should “vote as if your life depends on it,” because it does.

Vote!

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