Hang in there, voters, Election Day is in sight

This too shall pass. The barrage of negative campaign ads, that is, the compounding effect of which probably makes you suspect your own loved ones are somehow corrupt.

Hang in there. In just 12 days, those ads will be consigned to the dust bin of memories we’d rather forget.

Before we get too cynical, we should note the genuine excitement over this year’s election. The state and Snohomish County have both set records for voter registration, and already, almost 14 percent of the ballots mailed out by the county Auditor’s Office have been returned. Auditor Carolyn Weikel predicts a turnout of 85 percent, and it could well go higher. Very good things, indeed.

Still, the next dozen days will be challenging for voters already weary of the charges, countercharges and deliberate distortions that have become routine in election campaigns. The presidential and gubernatorial races have been particularly nasty, and the campaigns still have millions to spend in their final days.

Here’s a tip: If you’re tired of slick campaign fliers filling your mailbox, or automated “robo” calls interrupting your dinner, you can shut off many of them by sending in your ballot now. Once the Auditor’s Office registers your ballot as received, the campaigns make note of it and cross you off their list. They’re interested in aiming their resources at voters who might still be on the fence, not those who have made up their minds.

But do take the time to bone up on each race before voting. Consult the voter’s pamphlet you should have received in the mail last week (or check it out online at vote.wa.gov). Besides the races mentioned above, you’ll be voting in races for Congress, the Legislature, state executive offices, Superior Court, the Snohomish County PUD Commission and on several critical ballot measures. Much is at stake for the nation’s, state’s and region’s future, so invest the time to make your vote an informed one. Then be sure to fill out your ballot correctly and return it by Election Day, Nov. 4.

Once that day arrives, even if all of your candidates don’t win, you’ll be able to celebrate the end of all those ads and the political sniping. Of course, if the governor’s race is a nail-biter again, we could still be in for a few more weeks of the latter.

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