This presidential election is among the most politically charged in our nation's history, but you already knew that.

While the 2020 campaign season has not lived up to American elections' prestige, we must remember our Democratic process is just a dream for many countries. The people's will is underway across the nation and Iowa, as voters are beginning to vote in advance of the Nov. 3 Election Day.

On TV screens, the candidates will bicker and, at times, act a fool. But we don't have to resort to that.

As this election season nears its final climax, we've heard and seen reports across our coverage area and the state. Signs and yard displays for candidates have been vandalized or gone missing. Vandals have spray-painted vehicles and buildings with messages against one of the two major candidates for the election.

There is absolutely no reason to steal or vandalize someone's yard sign. To do so is a childish act that changes nothing. Additionally, it's illegal.

If your neighbor wants to support Vice President Joe Biden's campaign for president, it doesn't hurt you. It doesn't hurt anyone else.

Consequently, if your neighbor supports President Donald Trump's campaign for re-election, it doesn't hurt you and it doesn't hurt anyone else.

We can participate in a healthy debate, and we can be passionate, and we can disagree with one another. But to step on the property of another to vandalize or steal a sign is simply pathetic and says far more about you than anyone else.

As Americans, we're each entitled to our opinions and our rights to free speech. That someone's preference apparently offends you is not a license to commit a criminal act of pettiness.

There are far more productive reactions in this day and age. Volunteer for your preferred campaign and help get your preferred candidate's message out. You could donate to a cause you feel is worthy of support. You can volunteer to make sure people can get to the polls.

But most important: vote.

Vote early by absentee through the mail or in-person. Vote on election day in person.

Vote for more than just the race for president. Vote for the local races up and down the ballot.

A reminder about political letters

The Ottumwa Courier has been receiving and publishing a considerable amount of letters relating to the upcoming election. We will continue to publish letters through Oct. 29. The deadline to ensure your letter is published is Oct. 26 at 11 a.m.

We will not publish letters on Oct. 31 or Nov. 3 because it would not be fair to candidates who may be subject to critical statements so close to the election. When it comes to political letters, there will not be an exception to these deadlines.

All other normal policies remain in effect for these letters, as well. We will only print letters from our coverage area or individuals who have lived here in the past.

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