You hear the same old mantra every four years, and you may be tired of it: “This is the most important election of our lifetimes.” But the thing is, it’s true, just about every time. As the country becomes more divided, as the government grows in scope and power, as technology and ecology pose questions we haven’t had to confront before, yes, you could say each election is more important than the one before. That seems especially true today, when our candidates for president differ more in outlook, background, personality and belief than any in living memory. George W. Bush and Al Gore were two peas in a pod 20 years ago compared to President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden today.
So get out and vote! You don’t even have to wait until Nov. 3, and it may in fact be a good idea not to wait. Nationally at least, this election will almost certainly draw the biggest turnout in history. There are likely to be long lines in many polling places, at a time when standing on long lines is one of the last things you want to do. Early voting starts Saturday, and while you may have to travel a little farther than on Election Day to get to the polls, it’ll probably be worth it. You can find out where both your early and regular voting sites are at findmypollsite.vote.nyc.
And don’t forget there are plenty of races other than the one for the White House to vote in. Seats in Congress, the state Senate and the Assembly are also up for grabs, along with judgeships. You can find a comprehensive list of candidates in Queens in this edition of the Chronicle, or at qchron.com. You’ll also find some races covered this week, with how many depending on which edition of the paper you get. If you don’t find one you’re looking for, all the stories we’ve done in recent weeks on this year’s contests are also on our website. Searching there for a candidate’s name should get you the story you’re seeking.
People died so you could vote. A lot of them. Our system of government requires some activity on the part of each of us in order to work. There’s much you can do, but the least is to vote. Do it.