Early voting in Louisiana for the Nov. 3 elections begins Friday, Oct. 16 and will run through close of business on Tuesday, Oct. 27. Voting by mail has been underway for several weeks now.

Working in conjunction with the Secretary of State’s office, the Louisiana Legislature made it easy years ago to participate in the electoral process and continues to explore ways to ensure registered voters in Louisiana have ample opportunities to vote. The system is not perfect, but in Louisiana our electoral process is a far cry better than in most other states.

Voters who may be ill or who must navigate life with a disability that prevents them from voting in person can still participate in an election by requesting a mail-in, or absentee, ballot. Voting early has gained in popularity in recent years, and for all practical purposes it is easy to do. A voter may have to wait in line for quite a spell to cast a ballot, but early voting lasts for more than a week. That means voters who anticipate not having the time to vote on election day can still juggle their schedules to carve out the time to cast a ballot during early voting.

Then there’s election day voting itself. There is nothing more gratifying than heading to the polls on election day to exercise the constitutional right to vote, which was made possible by the Founding Fathers of this great nation and remains possible thanks to hundreds of thousands of American soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the freedoms we all enjoy to this day.

It would be an understatement to say the Nov. 3 elections are very important. Every election is important, but this year’s election cycle stands out above all others in light of the vast differences of opinion that exist among millions of Americans. A vast number of them believe the country should abandon an economy based on free markets and embrace socialism, and they have hedged their bets on the Democrat nominee for president, Joe Biden, and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, to make it happen.

The alternative is a system of government — representative democracy — that allows for a free-market economy to flourish in America. It is what we have known and enjoyed for more than 230 years. It also is a system of government that makes it possible to accurately say the United States of America is the most successful and most powerful nation known to mankind.

So do your part to preserve this great nation and vote.

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