This is the most important presidential election in American history.
How many times have you heard that phrase — or something similar — over the past few months?
Many believe that it is, though we won’t no for sure until sometime in the future.
America has had other elections that were called, in their time, the most important of all time.
For example, 1860 when the nation, on the brink of southern states seceding and a Civil War, put Abraham Lincoln in the White House.
There was a heated four-candidate election in 1912 with Democrat Woodrow Wilson, Republican William Howard Taft, Progressive Party candidate Theodore Roosevelt and Socialist Eugene Debs.
1932 was monumentally important, too, when, in the throes of the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt beat Herbert Hoover.
In recent years, 2000 (George W. Bush over Al Gore, hanging chads), 2004 (Bush over John Kerry with the specter of 9/11 in the shadows) and 2008 (Barack Obama, the first Black president) all were consequential.
There’s no doubt that 2020’s Donald J. Trump vs. Joe Biden will be impactful. Again, though, exactly how impactful only history will one day be able to tell us.
Here is what is not up for debate, however: Records are going to be set in the election of 2020.
As of Sunday morning, 92 million Americans had already cast their ballots, an astonishing 66 percent of the total turnout of four years ago. In 2016, Texas set its all-time record with 8.9 million voters; 10 million have already voted this year in the Lone Star State. Eleven states have surpassed 80 percent of their totals from ’16 including the battleground states of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada and Texas.
Some are forecasting that as many as 150 million of us will cast ballots by the time polls close on Tuesday — those include mail-in ballots, absentees that have been dropped off at polling places, early voting, and Election Day voting. If the number reaches that lofty total, it would represent 65 percent of eligible voters and be the highest percentage since 1908 when — more history — William Howard Taft defeated populist William Jennings Bryan in another consequential election.
So, if 2020 is not the most important presidential election of all time, it certainly will go down as having drawn the most interest. Ever.
In the Finger Lakes — where we also have important and consequential races for state Assembly and Senate and U.S. Congress — if you have not yet cast your ballot, tomorrow is your final chance.
It is your last opportunity to be a part of history, and while this is not an endorsement for either candidate or party, it is written in the hopes that — no, with the expectation that — whoever is elected will lead us through these difficult days, start to heal the divisiveness that is tearing us apart, and begin restoring America’s reputation as the shining republic that the world looks up to.
Important? We should say so. Please do your part and get out to vote.