Patrick Murphy


In less than two months the polls will open and voters will be able to choose those who will lead our local, state and federal governments.

This is the most important election in my lifetime.

It’s not a simple election. Even the way we vote has become politicized.

Mail-in ballots were first used during the civil war when soldiers obviously could not make it home to vote in local elections. They voted either at a field station in their military encampment or by mail.

I think it’s safe to say the mail service in the 1860s was not on parr with what it is today, yet it worked.

Suddenly, without merit, the ability of the mail service to handle mail-in ballots, is being questioned.

The president and vice president have used mail-in ballots, so it ought to be good enough for the rest of us. Right?

With the coronavirus causing a worldwide pandemic, voting by mail is as important as ever, and a simple option. It should not keep people away from casting their ballots. Voting should be everyone’s priority.

More and more businesses and sports leagues are shutting down Nov. 3 to allow people to go to the polls.

What took them so long?

Voting is not a national holiday, but it should be.

If Columbus Day and President’s Day are national holidays, then Election Day should be. Heck, we look forward to Valentine’s Day more than we do Election Day.

Every election is important, yet so many people stay away.

Primary elections barely draw any interest, and even general elections do not get as many people to the polls as they should.

About 60 percent of the voting eligible population votes during presidential election years, and about 40 percent votes during midterm elections.

Those numbers are pretty sad. We are choosing people who are going to lead us, make decisions that affect us every day of our lives, and so few people make decisions for everyone.

There are a myriad of excuses people use to stay away: My vote doesn’t make a difference, it doesn’t matter who we elect or I don’t really care about politics.

Votes do make a difference, who we elect matters this year more than any, and people do not have to be a political science major to understand what is going on in the country.

Voting this year can be done at the polls or through the mail, but it should be a priority.

It may not be as simple as going to the polls, but it is as simple as applying for a mail-in ballot, filling in that ballot and then putting it in the mail or dropping it off at the courthouse.

Voting is not hard, but it is important, now more than ever.

Patrick Murphy, editor-publisher of the Humphrey Democrat and Newman Grove Reporter in Nebraska, is a former assistant managing editor at The Telegram.