Ruben Cantu

RubÈn Cant˙ has been a journalist since 1995. He is the managing editor of the Del Rio News-Herald. Contact him at ruben.cantu@delrionewsherald.com

One of the most contentious elections — or at least it feels like it — will be reaching conclusion (hopefully) on Tuesday, after months of intense campaigning filled with dubious claims, politically charged rallies and finger pointing, loads and loads of finger pointing.

Whether you lean right, left or none of the above, if you are a U.S. citizen in full standing of your constitutional voting rights, I would ask you to go vote if you haven’t done so thus far.

One’s vote, although sometimes it feels like it doesn’t make a difference — especially if you’ve put your money on the wrong horse in the past — trust me, it matters.

Some of our local elections, the 2018 race for U.S. representative, 23rd District of Texas, between Gina Ortiz Jones and Rep. Will Hurd, or more recently the runoff in the Republican primary for the ticket to the same seat between Raul Reyes and Tony Gonzales come to mind, have been decided by a razor-thin margin.

Despite the presence of COVID-19, an unprecedented pandemic, Texas voters have voted in record numbers.

As of Thursday, the number of voters who have cast ballots in the Lone Star State’s early voting period this year has surpassed the total number of people who voted in all of 2016.

Through Thursday, latest figures available as I write these lines, 9,009,850 Texans had voted this year, with one day of early voting left. That amounts to 53 percent of registered voters.

In 2016, 8,969,226 Texans cast a ballot in the presidential race. This year Texas has 1.8 million more registered voters than in 2016, and overall percentage turnout is still below 2016’s turnout of 59.4 percent.

In Val Verde County, there is also a difference with a higher turnout this year.

As of Thursday and with one more day of early voting to go, a total of 8,977 local voters had cast their ballots for the Nov. 3 general election in-person (these figures do not include mail-in ballots), which is more than 2016’s total early voting of 8,479.

In terms of percentage, 30.6 percent of the registered voters in Val Verde County cast their ballots during the early voting period in 2016, while this year 31 percent of the voters had cast their ballots, again with one day of early voting left.

Elections seem to bring out the best and the worst of people, and more than one friendship have been known to break over politics. Partisan colors seem to cause selective blindness and deafness in some, and this is true for both sides of the aisle.

If you are a Pres. Trump supporter and believe in legal immigration, you are pro-life and believe that a border wall is going to solve all of your problems, I got news for you. Illegal immigration, abortion and illegal drugs coming across the border are not going to stop on Nov. 4.

On the other side, if you think Joe Biden is going to make COVID-19 disappear by decree, let me tell you, you may be disappointed if he gets elected.

You’d be better off by looking at the whole picture and making an educated, non-partisan decision before casting your vote.

Truth is, campaigning is easier than governing, talk is cheaper than action and putting your actions where your mouth is, sometimes is more difficult than you’d think.

So, at this point I am looking forward to Nov. 4, when we can finally move on with our daily lives without having to worry about who will be president of the United States for the next four years. That is if, and only if, this election doesn’t go into a months-long court battle as some are anticipating.

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Rubén Cantú has been a journalist since 1995. He is the managing editor of the Del Rio News-Herald. Contact him at ruben.cantu@delrionewsherald.com