Use your voice, take advantage of your right, and get out and vote

Minnesotans, particularly on the Iron Range and especially in the Ely area, don’t need much prodding to exercise their right and vote.
Turnout approaches 90 percent in some parts of our area during presidential election years and even an off-year, midterm election - such as the one coming up next week - always brings a healthy majority of local residents to the polls.
We’re hopeful that polling places are again among the busiest places in town on Tuesday and that turnout is even bigger than normal.
What the heck? Why not see if we can even approach the turnout of a presidential election?
While the race for the Oval Office isn’t on the ballot this time, and while Ely area elections are much quieter than usual, there are a bevy of races that have a big impact on all of us.
Whether you live in St. Louis or Lake County, contested county commissioner races are on the ballot.
The Ely area hasn’t been immune to the barrage of advertisements in an increasingly bitter battle to succeed Rick Nolan in Congress, as Republican Pete Stauber and Democrat Joe Radinovich square off.
Minnesotans will also pick a new governor and fill not one but two U.S. Senate seats and the state may just have the most interesting attorney general race in the entire country.
We’ll also pick somebody to represent our area in St. Paul in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Unlike many publications, we’d never dream of telling our readers how to vote.
We’ve never endorsed candidates in any race and won’t again this year.
Instead, we’d rather use this space to urge everyone - no matter your political leaning - to participate in Tuesday’s election.
Politics is the ultimate participatory sport.
Every two years, we have the opportunity to choose who will represent us, whether it be on the city council or school board or in the halls of the state capitol or the United States Congress.
Don’t like what’s going on at City Hall? Upset with the direction of state or federal government? Mad about how your Senator is dealing with health care or mining or taxes? Have a favorite candidate seeking office?
If so, don’t just grumble as you watch the news or rattle off an angry screed on social media. Do something about it and vote.
Like it or not, decisions are made by those who show up.
We all don’t have the time or the interest to run for office, devote 24/7 to politics or even serve on a committee.
We all have the time, however, to show up at our respective polling places.
Take some time, find out more about the candidates and the issues and most of all make your voice and opinions count.