The online candidate forum sponsored by the EO Media Group is over, and we are all pleased it proved to be a success.

A gathering of candidates during an election to answer questions and present their views is always good news and should help voters who are undecided to make an informed choice. You can still watch the videos on our website or Facebook page.

To make an informed choice, though, one must actually vote. Ballots are already out, and many voters will not be able to exercise their fundamental right to choose who they want to represent them.

There is no other more important element to democracy than the ability and the privilege to vote.

We harp on the importance of voting from time to time for a good reason — it is important.

Especially now as the entire nation staggers under the impact of the COVID-19 virus, our ability to exercise our right to vote is crucial.

The virus has changed our lives in fundamental ways and going forward our nation will be different until a vaccine can be discovered, and then administered on a widespread basis. Until then, we will be subjected to a new paradigm, but what will continue to remain is our basic building block of government — voting.

Voting — even vote by mail — can end up being a chore. The ballot can sit on the kitchen table or on the couch or chair for days, seemingly forgotten as we all try to find a way to respond and overcome the challenges presented by the COVID-19 virus. This election there are not a long list of candidates vying for positions, but there are some important races that voters should give more than a passing glance too.

First and foremost is the race for Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District. As longtime lawmaker Greg Walden prepares to leave that position, a sizable group of people is trying to gain his congressional seat. The position is an important one. The winner will be the direct representative for the people who inhabit Eastern Oregon in Washington, D.C., and therefore should be someone that voters believe understands our unique values and culture well.

So, voters should not shrug off the primary election. A lot may not seem to be at stake but, especially regarding the 2nd Congressional District race, the importance of this election is huge for the future of not only Oregon but our little piece of it.

So, don’t forget to vote. Exercise the right so many for so long on foreign shores sacrificed for our democracy.

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