EDITORIALS

EDITORIAL: The end is near

The York Dispatch
  • Today is the day to make your voices heard in the only way that really matters: Vote.
  • Vote like your future and the future of your country depend on it.

We’ve almost made it.

The nastiest, most unconventional presidential campaign in living memory will be over in a matter of hours.

FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2014, file photo, the White House is photographed from Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

No matter the outcome of this tight, high-stakes contest, we can at least be thankful for that small blessing.

We commiserate with Americans who feel bombarded, beaten down and dispirited at the end of this long and ugly road.

Of course we want to hunker down and just-make-it-through-please-God.

Does negative campaigning affect mental health?

But this race isn’t in God’s hands; it’s in yours. Finally.

This year-and-half-long marathon has always been about the voters, even if it didn’t always seem that way. (Who can forget Donald Trump reassuring the country about the size of his penis during a presidential primary debate?)

There have probably been times during this election that you’ve wanted to scream. Well, today is the day to make your voices heard in the only way that really matters:

Election Day near, Americans weigh divide, look for healing

Vote.

Vote, even if it takes the last bit of energy you have left.

Vote like your future and the future of your country depend on it.

We’ve put together some tools at www.yorkdispatch.com to help you through the process — an interactive map of York County polling places, articles on what you need to know about voting machines, rules for polling place etiquette and a breakdown of the candidates’ positions on the issues, to name a few.

And our desktop and mobile news sites will be open  Nov. 8 and 9, giving our readers full access to our election coverage free of charge.

Polls open at 7 a.m., so get out early if you can. Remind your friends, family and neighbors of their duty, and offer to take them to their polling places if they need assistance.

Why it matters: Issues at stake in election

As we noted, stakes are high in this election, and turnout probably will be heavy. There might be long lines.

If there are, wait.

No, it shouldn’t be difficult to exercise your most basic right as an American. You shouldn’t have to take time off from work or deal with long waits to pick a president.

The truth is voting could be made much easier in this country and in Pennsylvania.

For example, Election Day could be a federal holiday, a designation befitting the task at hand.

If we can skip work for Columbus Day, we should certainly be able to take off for national elections. It would be more convenient to vote, and perhaps we could top the 60 percent turnout we typically average in presidential elections — an average much lower than other established democracies, according to FairVote.

Convenience doesn’t seem to be a top priority for Pennsylvania lawmakers, either. It was only a few years ago that they tried to make it even more difficult for many registered voters. Luckily, a Commonwealth Court judge struck down the voter ID law as unconstitutional.

So it’s not at all surprising that election reform efforts like early voting (available in 33 states) and same-day registration (offered in 11 states) have stalled in the Keystone State, which only last year launched online voter registration.

Pennsylvanians should demand those reforms, but that's a challenge for another day.

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, the only thing you have to do is get to those polls.