On Election Day, we are all equal. Whether we are rich, poor or in between, when we go behind a curtain and mark our ballot, we all have the same power to influence world events.

There may not be much that we all can agree on, but we should be able to agree on this – the principle of one person, one vote is something to celebrate.

That principle has been under attack during the last few days as a high-stakes election season comes to a close.

Someone distributed anonymous fliers around Bates College last weekend, filled with false warnings about legal peril for college students who declare themselves as Maine residents for the purpose of voting. Instead of denouncing the fliers, Gov. LePage issued a statement Monday threatening to investigate college students who vote – a clear attempt to intimidate them.

It’s been a long, hard-fought season, but now it’s time for the partisans to stand down. The campaign is over.

For months, this part of the newspaper has been full of passionate disputes on issues ranging from the best choice for president of the United States to a local building moratorium. We’ve tried to keep the discussion respectful, but sometimes voices have been raised in anger. Sometimes it was our voice.


But today, only one voice matters, and it’s yours. When you go to the polls, you drown out everyone.

Maine takes pride in the fact that it is typically a leader in voter turnout, and it’s no coincidence that Maine law also makes it easy to vote.

Because of a motor voter program, the majority of Maine adults were able to register to vote when they renewed their driver’s license or registered a car.

Because of no-excuse absentee voting, thousands of people who might not have been able to make it to the polls today have already cast their vote.

And because of same-day registration – preserved by a people’s veto referendum in 2011 – any U.S. citizen at least 18 years old who is new to Maine or who has never voted before can go to the polls, register and vote on Election Day. That includes college students. One person, one vote.

Of course, voting is not all it takes to be an involved citizen. Most of the real work is done between elections by people who make themselves available to serve their community. A single vote rarely tips an election.

But nothing should diminish the importance of going to the polls by everyone who can. It’s a ritual of democracy. We are all invited to pitch in together on one big job – setting the direction of our society.

We can argue later. Now it’s time to vote.

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