Election Day is Tuesday, and a lot is on the line in Kansas and across the nation.

Whatever party you belong to, whatever ideology you espouse, voting is the cornerstone of our democracy. It’s your chance to decide who leads all of us.

In ways big and small, Tuesday’s election will set the stage for the next two years of political discourse. Will the president face a Congress controlled by his party or not? Will Kansans choose to continue Republican control of the governor’s office or go in a new direction?

If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that each vote matters. President Trump was elected by a narrow margin, thanks to strong turnout in swing states. Moderates in the Kansas Legislature made big gains that same year, after voters’ frustration with the state budget boiled over. Just this summer, conservatives regained some of those seats.

In all of these cases, for good or for ill, voters made the difference.

For those who are appalled by Trump and believe conservatives in theKansas Legislature wreaked fiscal havoc, this election offers an opportunity to right the course. For those who support the president and feel the only problem with recent Kansas leadership was a lack of budget-cutting, this election likewise offers an opportunity to continue your support.

The choices are stark and significant. And they come down to a paper ballot or touchscreen, and your personal beliefs.

This election season has been vitriolic. While Democrats have run hard-hitting ads on health care and campaigned aggressively, Republicans in particular have stoked racial tensions with closing arguments based on an exaggerated migrant “caravan” and fear of black and brown people. Regardless of our individual political beliefs, this particular campaign angle should be rejected and abandoned as soon as possible. We should be able to debate without casting some as true Americans and others as imposters.

And regardless of these ads and rallies and debates and social media memes, it will all come down to you and a ballot on Tuesday. The months and years of heated debates and discussions, the concern about the future of this country — it will all come down to you and that ballot.

Make sure to vote. Raise your voice in this vast chorus of democracy.

 

GateHouse Kansas