The most contentious and most exhausting campaign in many years is about to end. The polls will close at 8 p.m. Tuesday, and the counting of ballots and making of excuses will begin.
According to one study, Montana voters have been subjected to more television commercials in the Tester-Rehberg race than anywhere else in the country.
On top of that, we have had fistfuls of mail every day for and against every candidate with pictures of our friends and neighbors running for office Photoshopped so they look like goofs or villains.
And there have been phone calls from candidates and parties. Some of the callers, we assume from the southern drawls, are not in-state callers. One Rehberg supporter told one local resident that they should vote early, thus their name would be taken off the lists and they callers would stop annoying them.
Much of this has been sponsored by out-of-state, largely anonymous, secretly funded outfits, but that’s for another day.
Most everyone can hardly wait for the whole thing to come to an end.
But while the tone of the campaign is enough to cause Mother Theresa to go ballistic, no one should forget that the decisions made by the people elected Tuesday will affect every person on the Hi-Line and nationally.
Most of the attention is centered on the presidential race, but the down-ballot contests will have as much or more impact on our day-to-day lives. Emotional issues such as assisted suicide, medical marijuana and abortion and financial issues such as job creation and taxes will be determined by the people we send to Helena.
So, while there may be a temptation to skip the whole thing, that would be a terrible mistake. Most of the candidates we have met over the past year are far better than their commercials. And the decisions they make will affect your life.
Don’t hesitate Tuesday.