For about half of the adults in America, today is just another day and they are oblivious to the fact that it is Election Day. The other half (or less) will cast their ballot to determine the outcome of many local and state-wide elections but otherwise will go about their normal business. But for a small subset of people – those who were committed enough to actually have their names on the ballot – today could be a game changer.

I don’t think the average person realizes what it takes to be a candidate, even in a local election. There are months of daily commitments: hosting fundraisers, attending meet and greets, developing messaging, conducting interviews with countless media outlets, asking people for donations, walking in parades, going door-to-door to seek support, driving around the jurisdiction to place signs, participating in panels, showing up at community events to “waive the flag”, posting on social media, making phone calls, attending a plethora of events sponsored by the party, and seeking even more donations. It is a thankless task – where you commit months of energy and effort, endure verbal bashing, spend your own funds, and are grilled by the media – just for the opportunity to serve.

There are many on the ballot today with whom I vehemently disagree and would be very glad to see lose, but I applaud all of them for being in the arena (as Teddy Roosevelt would say) – for being willing to put themselves out there, for publicly sharing their values and views, and for taking public service seriously.

If you haven’t already voted, TODAY is the day to do so. You’ve got the easy job of casting a ballot instead of being listed on it. Millions of dollars and thousands of hours have been invested to give you a choice as to the direction you wish your government to go. The very least you can do is to show up at the polling place.

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