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There's been a good deal of ink and effort expended on this page lately to explain the benefits of choosing one candidate over another in Arkansas' primary and non-partisan judicial election coming May 22. As useful as this information can be, there's a bigger decision to be made: to actually show up and vote.

Don't blow it off by thinking that one piddly little vote doesn't matter. That was proven wrong on Dec. 19, when, according to the Washington Post, David E. Yancey appeared to win the Virginia House of Delegates race by 10 votes, but a recount put his opponent Shelly Simonds ahead by one vote. The next day a three-judge recount court ruled that a single ballot that had been discarded during the recount should be tallied for Yancey. The race was tied with each candidate having 11,608 votes. A random drawing was held to determine the winner. Simonds lost.

OK, that argument's out of the way. Let's move past discussing whether to vote to talk about when to vote.

Plenty of voters like to do their civic duty on an official Election Day. They enjoy seeing their neighbors, watching the displays (at a proper distance from the voting location) and banner-waving of those who are for and against assorted candidates and issues, and in general being a part of one of our country's best and longest-held traditions.

Then there are others who take advantage of the option to vote early, which began a week ago and continues through May 21. There's a lot to recommend this approach. Parking at the designated early voting locations (a list of those locations and their hours of operation can be found at votepulaski.net) is easier. Election workers are pleasant and helpful when they're dealing with a trickle of voters throughout an early voting day instead of an outpouring that tends to show up on Election Day, especially during peak times like before and after work.

Since there tends to be less pressure, early voters can slow down and consider their choices. When they're finished, they get a cute sticker that says I Voted Early (good for gaining the upper hand in the smug factor at work and elsewhere).

And the best part: It's over and done with. All that's left is to sit back and wait for results.

Either option is the best option. Staying away? That's not the right choice. So just do it. Get out and vote.

Editorial on 05/15/2018

Print Headline: Voting: Just do it

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