I live in Camp County, so that’s where I vote.

Tuesday morning, we had to get the paper out, so I couldn’t make it to the courthouse for voting, but Wednesday morning I was there, and pretty impressed.

Everyone was respectful about where they stood, keeping socially distant, wearing a mask and all that. The volunteers even had a baggy with a pen, sticker and a hand wipe they gave to each voter so it was as touchless as possible.

And people overall were good about not wearing campaign gear into the voting place — which has been illegal in Texas this side of forever.

I saw my eighth-grade history teacher, Mrs. Price, who called out, “I know you know what voting precinct you’re in.” And, of course, I flashed three fingers and a laugh, and she directed me to the second table for the third and fourth precincts.

I was in line for all of three minutes before I could take my place in the voting booth, and then I dropped my ballot on the electronic reader and vamoosed for work, posting on Facebook before I left the parking lot with a picture of my sticker saying, “I did the thing. Go vote.”

And you should too. Not just for the big national election, which has people on both sides of the aisle biting their nails down to the quick, but down ballot as well. State and local races are just as important. We forget just how much control and influence there is on the down ballot races.

A lot of movements in the U.S. started with small spaces and races, for better or for worse. Prohibition, for example, started with the states before it became an amendment.

And, before that, in Texas at least, it was done county by county, which is why we have these strange setups nowadays where you can buy alcohol in one precinct of a county but not in the other four. Up until about 10 years ago, you could only buy alcohol in precinct three in Camp County. People come over here from Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma and just scratch their heads at that one.

Whoever you vote for, just make sure you exercise your right to vote. Here in Texas there have been a few glitches, but overall it’s going pretty smoothly, knock on wood. Honestly, I’m in favor of making voting a national holiday. Or maybe even, like in Australia, making voting mandatory.

This is looking to be a record-breaking election. People are turning out in droves. If you think your vote doesn’t count, think again. Even a third party vote does count because it then splits the vote from the other two candidates, narrowing their winning margin. And please don’t write in “Mickey Mouse” or “Daffy Duck” — just pick the candidate that most closely aligns with your views.

Go do the thing.

Kim Cox is the city editor for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6965 or at kim.cox@theparisnews.com.

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