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In four days, St. Mary’s County voters have their say.

Like the rest of the country, they’ve been listening for many months as those who seek to replace the current president have debated each other and crisscrossed the nation to stump for votes in caucuses and primaries. Now, with the outcome still not inevitable, Republican voters here can weigh in while four candidates are still actively in the hunt.

Closer to home, St. Mary’s voters for many weeks have been reading letters, seeing signs and hearing arguments about the avidly contested election for circuit court judge between David Densford and Joseph Stanalonis.

This edition includes the last letters from the primary campaign. Our reporting from the final candidate forum Thursday night, which ended too late for our print deadline, will be online Friday afternoon. On Tuesday, April 3, voters will either end this contest or send it on to November. If the majority of Democratic and Republican voters choose the same candidate in their respective primaries, that man will be in line to serve a 15-year term on the bench. If they split the difference the final word will come in the general election, when about 11,000 independent voters who can’t vote in the primary will have a chance to help decide.

Independent voters, as in every Maryland election, are also shut out of picking the Democratic and Republican nominees for U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

But everyone, no matter what party they belong to, or if they are registered with no party at all, on April 3 can help winnow the field of candidates for the St. Mary’s County Board of Education. The contests for two school board seats each have three candidates. The primary results will cut that to two apiece.

The beauty of election day is that after all the tearing down and building up of candidates and associated noise that goes into a political campaign, all voters get the chance to think for themselves. In the quiet of the voting booth they’ll decide what they believe and don’t believe. They’ll decide who they think they can trust. And no matter what all the pundits and observers think they know ahead of time, the outcome will be in doubt until the polls close in Maryland at 8 p.m. next Tuesday and the votes are counted.

Don’t relinquish the power to help make that choice about who oversees the public schools, who sits in judgment in criminal and civil cases, and yes, who runs the country.

There will be 31 polling places in St. Mary’s County open starting at 7 a.m. next Tuesday. If you’re a registered voter and not sure where to go, you can find out online at, or call 301-475-7844, ext. 1100.