Look at voting as defending yourself

No doubt you will be going to the polls today if you are a registered voter who has not yet cast a ballot through one of the early voting systems in Ohio.

Right? You understand how important this year’s general election is, regardless of where you live, of course. So you will be voting, won’t you?

Polling places will open at 6:30 a.m. today. They will not close until 7:30 p.m. That should allow plenty of time for most people to cast ballots.

It is important. U.S. senators and members of the House of Representatives will be elected today. So will most members of our state legislature.

A constitutional amendments is on the ballot. It is Issue 1, calling for more lenient treatment of those arrested for use or possession of controlled substances.

Voters in Seneca County will select a member of the board of commissioners today. Ohioans will elect an Ohio Supreme Court justice. And many voters will be deciding tax levy questions.

If you are planning to do your civic duty today, bear in mind that our state has voter identification requirements. A variety of documents, such as driver’s licenses, can be accepted. You can vote a provisional ballot if you do not have an identification document.

Our system of government in the United States is based on participation by the electorate.

Think about it this way, then: A proposed constitutional amendment on Ohio’s ballot is important to all of us. Local levy questions affect how much we pay in taxes and the quality of various public services.

People elected to local, state and national offices today will be approving budgets and making laws that can affect us all, sometimes beneficially — and sometimes not.

So look at voting as a matter of self-defense — then get to your polling place today.

Note: If you requested and received an absentee ballot but have not yet returned it, that ballot must be returned in person to the board of elections office before the polls close at 7:30 p.m. today to be counted.