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Many long for the days when our two-party system tried to work for the benefit of the people of the United States. The hostility generated by party politics must stop.

Our country has been polarized before and especially during and after the election of 2016. The strategy of this administration has been to divide and conquer. Democracy depends on the participation of all who are eligible to vote. Being aware of the issues through legitimate channels of information takes time and effort to vote responsibly. An educated public is critical for the well being of our country.

Voting barriers have denied many of their constitutional right to vote. Registering to vote must be available through many venues. Those who have difficulty getting to their assigned precincts should be encouraged to vote by mail or allowed to vote at a precinct close to their work. Partisan politics has no place in disrupting voting rights. Regardless of race, gender, religion, economic status and sexual orientation, each voter is of equal importance and power at the ballot box.

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Exercise that power in voting for leaders you respect and can trust. Encourage others to vote. Collectively our votes can determine the path our nation takes. An engaged public and responsible leadership can work together not only for the benefit of our country but the world as well.

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MARGARET VAN CLEVE

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