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Our View: Take the time to vote Tuesday
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On Tuesday, after months of discussion and debate election day in the Monroe area is finally here.

There is a lot to be decided in Green and Lafayette counties. There is a race to determine Monroe's next mayor, as well as Common Council wards 3, 7 and 9. Also, there are two school district referendums, one in the Black Hawk district and the other in the Brodhead district. In addition, there is a contested race for the District 18 Green County board seat, as well as districts 3, 7, 8 and 12 in Lafayette County.

For understandable reasons, most people seem to pay closer attention to national elections, such as the presidential election every four years, which draws 24-hour news coverage from the likes of Fox News and MSNBC for months. But, in almost all cases, local elections, like the one taking place Tuesday, have a far greater day-to-day impact on the lives of a municipality's voters.

It has been said over and over "all politics is local," and it's true. National politicians recognize this and work to make an image that appears to address the immediate concerns of constituents in every corner of their districts. For example, Sen. Russ Feingold travels to every county in Wisconsin each year to hold listening sessions, but the decisions he might make based on what he hears from them will likely have far less local impact than the next time your city council decides to increase garbage pick-up fees. The most impactful vote a local resident can make is the one that could impact his or her property taxes or water rates by choosing their alderman or county board supervisor.

For this reason, take the time tomorrow to vote. If not, you won't have a voice in government. In Brodhead, for instance, if the referendum passes and you didn't agree with it, don't complain against it Wednesday if you didn't take part in the election.

We at the Times have worked over the past few weeks to provide voters with the information they need to make informed decisions about local races, but even with candidate profiles and stories detailing each race, it's up to the voters to use all that information.

Tuesday is the time to exercise the most fundamental function of a representative democracy, so vote and be active in the operations of your government.