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Exercise your right to vote

“For this nation to remain true to its principles, we cannot allow any American’s vote to be denied, diluted or defiled. The right to vote is the crown jewel of American liberties, and we will not see its luster diminished.” – Ronald Wilson Reagan, 40th president of the United States.

Since this great nation was founded, the right to vote has been a cornerstone of what it means to be an American.

Even though voting rights have not been afforded to all throughout our country’s history – with earlier exclusions wrongly targeting women, the poor and various ethnic groups – this liberty has been a coveted one, as made evident by the women’s and African-American suffrage movements.

On Feb. 3, 1870, the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, saying, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude.”

Still, it took almost 100 years – and in some places longer – for voting rights to bloom to the fullest.

Through all those years and all that strife to gain access to the polls for so many, the right to vote was – and is – “the crown jewel of American liberties,” as Reagan said.

We are tremendously fortunate in New Hampshire and throughout the entire country to be able to go to the polls and cast our ballot for whom we think should lead the free world, not to mention to vote for whom we think should lead our cities, towns and state.

Those less blessed in other countries not afforded this most-treasured right always have looked at America with great envy, viewing our system of government as the gold standard.

The right to vote is ingrained in our culture, and should never be taken for granted or tossed aside.

Every single vote really does count. Every single vote really can make a difference. Every single vote really does show that our democracy is strong, vibrant and works to benefit our entire nation.

That benefit, though, only will stay intact if the Electoral College remains in place, giving all states a say in who represents them in Washington, D.C., both in Congress and the Oval Office. This is vital not only for our country as a whole, but for the Granite State and it’s status as the first in the nation.

Our state takes this great responsibility seriously, and will again shine on the national state today.

The Telegraph urges everyone to exercise their right – their responsibility – to vote this primary Election Day.

We also would like to extend a thank-you to all polling place captains and workers and to New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner for their efforts throughout the primary election process.

There is much on the line, and it’s not an overstatement to say that our future depends on a strong showing in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary.

Polling place locations and times are on today’s front page.

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