With today being Election Day, the freedom - and civic duty - to cast one's vote should remind us all how fortunate we are as Americans.
Despite the upheaval and partisanship in today's political climate, it's crucial to remember that we, as citizens, all have control over the process as long as we do our duty and due diligence in casting our ballots.
What people seldom consider is how hard America has had to work to get to this point. It hasn't been all that long ago - 1920 - that women gained the right to vote. Even more recent, African-Americans didn't really get the true and free right to vote in the South until the mid-1960s.
The political process will not truly work unless people exercise this right. If a particular elected official isn't performing up to par, or if change is needed for the betterment of the country or our own community, it is the citizenry's duty to facilitate change by registering and casting their ballot come Election Day.
It doesn't do any good to fret about the political process or subpar elected officials if we are not even willing to cast a vote.
The election today is a primary, with most of those on the ballot not actually being elected but merely receiving their parties' nominations for the general election. There are, though, nonpartisan municipal and board of education races throughout our area. Winners in those races will be elected.
When voters become too apathetic - or lazy - to vote, government of the people and by the people is in trouble. It is only a matter of time until government for the people is jeopardized.
Please, go to the polls and vote today. Polling places will be open until 7:30 p.m.
Many Central West Virginia residents already have taken advantage of early voting. For those who have not, The Inter-Mountain challenges you to cast your ballot today. After all, every vote really does count.