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Our view: Don’t forget to vote today

Today is Election Day.

It’s a day when all Americans 18 years of age and older should celebrate the freedoms that our forefathers provided us, and so many brave men and women in our military fought to preserve.

Many people across the planet do not have the right to elect their leaders. They would give almost anything to have the same freedoms we have, including the right to vote.

On today’s ballot are several items that could shape the future of our country, state and county for years to come.

Getting the most attention, of course, is the race for president of the United States. Americans have a clear choice: Democratic incumbent Barack Obama or Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

All congressional seats also are up for election. McHenry County will have two new congressional members regardless who wins today. Post-census redistricting made sure of that.

Voters in Algonquin Township and the rest of the 6th Congressional District either will send Republican incumbent Peter Roskam back to Washington, D.C., or his challenger, Democrat Leslie Coolidge. Voters in the rest of McHenry County will join others in the 14th Congressional District in choosing between Republican incumbent Randy Hultgren or Democrat Dennis Anderson.

In Illinois’ 52nd Representative District, Republican David McSweeney faces Independent Dee Beaubien. In the state’s 26th Senate District, incumbent Republican Dan Duffy faces Democrat Amanda Howland.

All six McHenry County Board districts have contested races. Voters in each district choose four.

A countywide referendum asks if voters want to change county government to an executive form of government. And an advisory referendum asks whether citizens should be able to hold more than one elected office.

There’s plenty at stake today.

If you didn’t participate in early voting opportunities, make some time to get to your polling place today. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

It’s your duty as an American.

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