Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 6, 2012

Election Day 2012

No excuse for not voting


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— — After four very long, and four very difficult years for the coalfields of southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia, it’s finally time to cast a ballot.

The long, bitter and at times downright ugly campaign trail comes to a definitive end today at polling precincts across the region. It’s time to select a new president of the United States. A new governor for West Virginia. A new U.S. senator for West Virginia and Virginia. A new congressman for Virginia and West Virginia. New lawmakers in Charleston, and new leaders on the county level, as well as new mayors, and council members across Southwest Virginia.

Today, the power moves from the candidates to the voters, who are ultimately responsible for determining America’s future.

Polls open in West Virginia at  6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. In Virginia, polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Thousands have already voted early across the region through early voting and absentee voting, and a large voter turnout is expected today in both West Virginia and Virginia.

Voters across the region and the nation appear energized. And that’s a good thing. The last thing you want to see on Election Day is a voter base that is apathetic. Everyone who is registered to vote should vote today.

There is simply too much at stake today not to cast a ballot. Today, voters across this great nation must decide between four more years of the same, or a new president who will guide us out of the current economic crisis.

The control of Congress is once again back in play as well.

While Republicans are expected to retain control of the U.S. House of Representatives, a handful of races — including the closely watched race between Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen in Virginia — could help to determine which political party will control the U.S. Senate.

But in the eyes of many voters, today’s election is in essence a referendum on the policies of President Barack Obama. And that statement couldn’t be truer than right here in the coalfields of southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia where the Obama administration has led a senseless and deplorable war on coal for the past four years.

If Obama is re-elected, the future of coal, and other fossil fuels such as natural gas and oil, will be threatened. Many across the region appear unified and energized in support of  Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who must win both West Virginia and the battleground state of Virginia if he is to have a chance at achieving the electoral college math necessary for a victory today.

Today, the long election cycle finally comes to an end. Finally, the hour to cast a ballot has arrived.

Everyone who cares about America, and our region, must cast a ballot today. No excuses. Just vote.