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Mark Archibald, Daily Sun columnist

To the delight of many, the 2020 campaign will soon end. Deluged by interruptions and advertisements of every type, some have expressed they are looking for an off-ramp.

Voting won’t stop the ads, but the beginning of the end has begun. Voting has kicked off in several states. Starting Tuesday, Texans will join them casting ballots in person between Oct. 13, and Oct. 30. Election Day, is Nov. 3. Check with your local election’s administrator’s office or the website for details.

Voting shouldn’t be a Faustian bargain. I can understand the frustration of those who view politicians as prioritizing self-interest over selfless-service. Attention to constituents should be valued over party and lobbyists. In this partisan environment the contortions politicians and partisans attain in order to rationalize is disheartening. Registered voters have the opportunity to weigh these and other issues before casting a ballot.

I believe the voting booth is a sacred place reserved for belief, ideals and ideas. It can again be filled with optimism, but only if we commit to doing the work. We must stay involved, by attending meetings, asking questions, and most importantly discerning critically.

The purpose of my weekly column is to present my thoughts in a way which elicits response and offers another perspective to the political discourse. Judging from my E-mail, phone messages, social media hits and letters to the editor, there is little doubt that I have been at least somewhat successful in that endeavor. Increasing political engagement, is a positive for our community.

I applaud Navarro County’s political parties for their continued efforts to engage in the community. Identifying and recruiting prospective candidates is difficult, but the thankless task of filling a ballot should begin sooner rather than later. Choice at the ballot box is a sign of a healthy Constitutional Republic.

Throughout this election cycle, it’s been my honor to interview several candidates seeking municipal, state and federal elective office. The Daily Sun appreciates their seriousness and candor. Their profiles and responses to questions should provide valuable information for those who are heading to the polls.

Campaigns have already begun to narrow their focus and shifted from voter identification to voter turnout. Time is of the essence, these operations are the most nerve-racking part of the campaign, because of the inherent uncertainty and finality. Casting a ballot is our opportunity to make sense of the organized chaos.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt said in an Oct. 1944, radio address, “The full and free exercise of our sacred right and duty to vote is more important in the long run than the personal hopes or ambitions of any candidate for any office in the land.”

Roosevelt was not a perfect man nor a perfect President, but in this instance, he lived up to the American ideal. Use the mail to send in your ballot, vote early in person, or plant your feet in line on Election Day. Whatever method you choose, just make your choice and remember to remain optimistic.

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