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OUR OPINION: Exercise the right we too often take for granted

Today is Election Day. Today we have the freedom to go and choose our leaders, the people who make our laws, the people who interpret our laws, the people who enforce our laws and the people who carry out the intent of our laws.

Unfortunately, too many people are too apathetic to exercise this freedom &8212; a freedom ensured by the blood of brave men and women many times over throughout the history of our nation.

We see oversees where citizens of Middle Eastern nations risk their lives &8212; literally &8212; to vote. We see where one nation &8212; Iraq &8212; has for the first time voted to choose their leadership.

These people live under the constant threat of war, terrorism, plague and mass destruction. They value their right to vote because they know what it is to live under a dictator who kills those who disagree with him.

But here, we are comfortable. We have become complacent. As a result, we consider half the population casting a vote as an overly successfully turnout.

We hope that our comfort level is ever forced to change by outside influences that would make us run for cover and have to brave horrible danger to vote.

That said, we would hope that people could understand the great freedom we have been granted. We know that much of the apathy is due to the guardians of our political system &8212; the politicians who stoop to mud-slinging and play on the lowest common denominators of the voting public.

Nonetheless, they are the options with which we are presented cycle after cycle. We could, however, change the political atmosphere by turning out at the ballot box and letting our voices be heard.

Go vote. Choose the best option before you. And for the next four years, be vocal.

Your vote does count. Your voice can be heard.