We know this election cycle has been downright confusing. People have been kicked off the ballot and put back on. Lawsuits have threatened to kick others off. The names of 13 people running for office arenít even on the ballot voters will see today.

But, however bewildered you may be by it all, that is absolutely no excuse not to get out today and vote.

Voting is a right guaranteed to every American citizen and one that should not be taken lightly. Many have fought passionately to give us this right, so donít brush aside their sacrifice by not casting your ballot today.

At the risk of sounding clichťd, your vote really does count, especially in a general election when the winners are determined by plurality and not by majority. The victor could win by one vote. Your vote could be the one that elects the new Aiken County Auditor and Treasurer or the one that decides who gets the S.C. House District 81 seat.

Donít make the mistake of thinking the election doesnít matter. It does, unequivocally. The results will shape the United States, the state of South Carolina, and Aiken County for years to come.

You, as a qualified voter, are an integral part of the democratic process.

Having related all of that, we would be remiss if we didnít implore you to familiarize yourself with the issues and the candidates before visiting the polls today. You do yourself a disservice to vote uninformed. Know the issues, know the people, and vote for who you think is the best person to lead us into the future.

If you find yourself overwhelmed at the ballot box today, donít be afraid to ask poll workers questions.

They canít tell you who to vote for, but they can help you navigate the electronic ballot.

Donít make excuses; make a difference.