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The anticipation and uncertainty of Election Day

As I write this, Election Day is less than 24 hours away. I love elections. It doesn’t matter what’s on the ballot. I have always felt that one of the greatest responsibilities we have as Americans is to cast our ballot. I know many people have grown weary and distrustful of the political process. I understand that, and I myself have grown increasingly cynical regarding how our leaders govern our country.

My cynicism, however, will not keep me from voting. The way in which we choose our leaders differentiates us from most other countries in the world. We truly have the opportunity to choose those who govern us and we should all exercise that right at every opportunity.

As Election Day nears, I find myself puzzled yet quite intrigued by what is happening right now with the races, particularly those for governor and U.S. Senate. In all likelihood, we won’t know who wins these races until the run-offs in January. At the moment, no one has the 50 percent plus one needed to win outright. Which I find interesting. For many years, Georgia has been a predominantly Republican state. Until a few months ago, I thought the days of Democrats winning a statewide election were over. Jason Carter and Michelle Nunn, however, have me rethinking that particular theory.

The strength with which they are running puzzles me further given what is happening with the Democratic Party at the national level. Democratic candidates across the country are fleeing President Barack Obama in droves. They want little or nothing to do with him because of the mess he has made. And make no mistake about it – President Obama has indeed made blunder after blunder after blunder. His policies and agenda are wildly unpopular, even among his own party. Few Democratic candidates want to associate with him, and with good reason.

In Georgia in particular, President Obama is unpopular and not trusted. Which makes it all the more puzzling why Carter and Nunn are polling so well. Is it because of the strength of their family names? I’m not sure about that; former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, Michelle Nunn’s father, was a popular Senator who at one time was one of the most powerful men in the country. Jason Carter’s grandfather is former president Jimmy Carter, who I believe most Georgians tolerate more than respect.

Or is it the weakness of the Republican candidates? Gov. Nathan Deal has had his fair share of adversity during his first term but overall he has done a good job. David Perdue has endured attack after attack from Nunn’s campaign but I haven’t seen anything particularly alarming from Perdue’s candidacy.

To me, it comes down to which side of the aisle each one will vote with on major issues. The Democrats will almost always, without fail, vote with their party. You can throw U.S. Rep. John Barrow, our representative, into this mix as well. Barrow paints himself as a conservative Democrat but the reality is quite different. He is not conservative. Neither are Nunn or Carter. They will bring with them a liberal agenda that will not be good for either our state or nation.

I do not, however, believe that tomorrow’s vote count will settle the races between Nunn and Perdue, Carter and Deal. There are other statewide races with three candidates that won’t be decided, either. I think the only elections that will be settled tomorrow will be the local races. In the most of the others, we’ll have to endure two more months of commercials and political signs.

Despite the near certainty of run-offs, tomorrow will be a special day, and what happens in both Georgia and across the nation will have far-reaching effects over the next two years. The neat thing is we get to decide in which direction Georgia and the United States will take. Exercise your right to vote. If you haven’t done so during early voting, cast your ballot on Nov. 4. It is one of the most important things you will ever do.

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