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The Most Important Ballot CastSeattle, WA –- Since I'll be in San Francisco on November 4th, I cast my absentee ballot in the mail today. We all know this is a historic election, but I truly believe this was the most important ballot I've cast thus far in my voting history.

The United States is in a state of crisis. The economy is a wreck with many hard working Americans struggling just to get by. Our health care, which is among the best in the world, is becoming increasingly inaccessible for many of us. Our education system is broken. The war in Iraq has been so horribly mismanaged that it threatens our efforts in the war on terror. The war on terror has been used by the current administration as an excuse to erode our civil rights and conduct acts that lessen our moral standing in the world.

Luckily, our system of government allows for the opportunity to change our leadership and thereby the direction of the country. As I examined the candidates for the highest office in the land, it is clear to me that one offers more of the same and the other actually holds the promise of change. There is no doubt in my mind that one candidate's administration will do more to erode my civil rights and the other is more likely to champion and defend them. As a libertarian I often side with old school conservative principals of government but the modern Republican Party reflects little of those principals today. While I may not agree with all of the policies Barack Obama has laid out, he has instilled a sense of hope that the major issues facing our nation can be addressed.

It is my distinct hope that a majority of Americans and, more importantly, the Electoral College agree.

Side Bar: For those of you reading this in California I have a special request. Voters in California face another important decision on November 4th, the question of Proposition 8. Defeating this proposition which would codify inequality under the law should be a high priority. There are still many undecided voters in California on this issue and I know the No on Proposition 8 campaign could use your help. Do us all a favor, talk to five people you know personally who might still be undecided and help put a face to question.