It's a proud day to be a United States citizen.

Today, our collective voice is heard loud and proud. We select local, state and national leaders through the democratic process.

Go vote. It's not too hard, and it doesn't take long.

Be informed. Help shape history.

Our newsroom staff has worked hard in recent weeks to tell our readers about local candidates and their viewpoints on issues. The Daily Republic, which covers a 17-county region, is lucky enough to have three local candidates running for major offices. They include Mitchell's own Dusty Johnson and Canistota's Tim Bjorkman for U.S. House, and Burke's Billie Sutton for South Dakota governor, who is running against Kristi Noem.

We encourage all voters to do some research on the candidates-and make sure not to vote based solely on party. All of the candidates have values that are important as to why they should be voted for outside of simply being Democrat, Republican or other. We hope you, as a voter, have learned the candidates' positions.

We've seen some terrible attack ads this election cycle, which isn't all that surprising. Each year, it seems like misinformation is spewed through TV commercials and mailbox fliers. Take a hard look at the candidates who have run positive and clean campaigns, because we believe it's those people who will govern with good ethics.

The country needs less division and more people working together.

We hope South Dakota citizens read the in-depth reporting and tuned in to the debates on the South Dakota gubernatorial race. According to the polls, it's going to be a close one-so every vote counts. No matter the outcome, South Dakota will either elect its first female governor in Noem, or the state will have its first Democratic governor since Harvey Wollmann was in office in the late 1970s. It's absolutely an exciting time.

Of course, there will be a collection of people who don't hit the voting booths today and complain Wednesday about the outcome. But their voices should fall on deaf ears. We all have an equal say today.

Remember, the only way to make a difference is to vote.