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The talk is over, it’s time to vote

We’ve heard, read and talked much during the past several months — make that the past several years — about how important this year’s general election would be.

There have been debates and discussions — most civil, many not — about the candidates and issues voters are deciding on.

We’ve had voter registration drives and get-out-the-vote campaigns and seen candidates find creative ways to get their names and their messages out while working through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now it all comes down to one very simple act — casting your vote.

Many residents of the Tri-State Area already have done just that, as early voting totals in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia have been record shattering. Many more will be heading to the polls Tuesday, the traditional Election Day.

And while the presidential race between Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden has consumed much of the discussion about ballot choices, we would like to remind you that there are many local races that will have a very direct impact on the day-to-day lives of everyone in the region.

West Virginia voters will be facing contested races for governor and many other statewide offices, as well as the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senator, state senators and members of the House of Delegates.

Hancock County voters will be choosing a county commissioner and a prosecuting attorney, while Brooke County voters will have the chance to vote for a sheriff.

Voters in Jefferson County, for instance, are voting on two of the three county commissioners. They also will choose a new clerk of courts. Numerous issues and levies are on the ballot in areas throughout the county.

Harrison County voters, meanwhile, will have the chance to choose a new prosecutor.

There also are contested races for the state house and senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and Ohio Supreme Court.

So, while choosing the president is important, it’s also important that area residents have a say in who will most directly represent them and in how their tax money will be spent.

We’ve heard all of the talk for some time now — but all of it will mean nothing unless we follow through and make sure our votes are cast.

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