The mid-term elections are no sleepy affair this year as the political landscape appears to have reached peak polarization on Capitol Hill. Meanwhile, just about every elected office at the state and county levels is on the ballot this year. For those who are not registered to vote, this election is of vital importance to shaping the course of the country, Maryland and Queen Anne’s County, and you have until Oct. 16 to ensure your voice is heard.

Republicans hold the U.S. House of Representatives, where every member is on the ballot, 241 seats to the Democrats’ 194. For us in Maryland’s 1st District, four-term Republican incumbent Andy Harris is facing a challenge from Democrat Jesse Colvin.

The U.S. Senate is likewise held by the Republicans’ 51 seats to the Democrats’ 47, plus two independents who caucus with Democrats. Maryland Democrat Ben Cardin is seeking a third term in the Senate. He faces a challenge from Republican Tony Campbell and independent Neal Simon.

At the state level, the governor is on the ballot, along with the comptroller and the attorney general. All the state senators and delegates comprising the General Assembly are up for re-election.

At the county level, the county commissioners are at the top of the ballot. The sheriff, orphans’ court judges, and three of the county’s five Board of Education seats are up for a vote this year.

The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday Oct. 16. That also is the last chance prior to the Nov. 6 election to update your voter information or change your party affiliation.

To start the process, we recommend visiting the Maryland State Board of Elections website, which has a link — voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/VoterSearch — to determine whether you are already registered. If you are, now is a good time to update any information, such as your address if you moved since you registered.

You can register to vote through 9 p.m. Oct. 16 on the state site.

So please, if you have not registered to vote, do so. This is not a partisan pitch. This is about ensuring everyone takes advantage of the voice their government affords them. Every vote counts. Make sure yours is included.

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