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Vote now, vote later, but vote

In any other year, we’d wait until the week before “the first Tuesday in November” to editorialize on the duty of every citizen in our town to vote. But the availability and popularity of voting early, whether by mail or in person, has led the Press to jumpstart its reporting on the questions and candidates that appear on this fall’s ballot. In this issue you’ll find coverage of the local impact of Question 1 and Question 2, and next week we’ll publish Q&As with the candidates vying to represent Harvard in the Legislature.

Whatever your party, whoever you back for state or national office, however you stand on Questions 1 and 2, what’s important is that you vote. Harvard has a reputation for high turnout. In 2016, 88% of the town’s 4,216 registered voters cast a ballot. Why not 99% in 2020?

With so many options for remote and in-person voting, such an outcome should be within Harvard’s grasp, pandemic or no pandemic. (For a full rundown, see our Sept. 24 feature, “What you need to know about voting in the November 2020 election.”) What’s key is to have a plan. Make sure that whichever option you choose, you’ve allowed plenty of time to carry it out. 

This year’s election is arguably one of the most important in our nation’s history. What distinguishes a democracy from autocracy is the right of citizens to have a say in their government. It’s a hard-won right, enshrined in the Constitution, the 14th, 15th, and 19th Amendments, and civil rights legislation of the past 100 years. To keep it, we must wield it.

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