THE POLLS ARE OPEN TODAY from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

NEW! Use our BFA Voter App to look up candidates on your computer or mobile device: OhioGunVote.com

Election Day is here.

We hear it every two years, "This is the most important election of our lifetime!" Obviously, every election can’t be "the most important." But it can be the most important one to date.

Today is a critical election for Ohio, for the U.S.A, and for freedom-loving gun owners everywhere.

At this point in election cycles, I’m always personally vested in multiple campaigns. There are candidates I’ve worked with and for, gotten to know their campaign staff, often talking to them at all hours of the day and night. Often I’ve also become acquainted with candidate’s family. This week I got a big hug from one of my first candidate’s daughters, who now has a son learning to drive! Such are strong bonds and friendships formed on the campaign trail.

But this year is different. For the first time I’m nervous about more than a few key elections. I’m scared for the future of our state and nation. It has weighed on me like no other election and, in talking to friends, I know I am not alone.

There are always tight elections, where a tiny percentage of voters make up the margin of victory. Sometimes the difference is only a few (or even just one) vote. This year, there are many elections that are tied, or within the margin of error in the never-ending string of polls.

Real Clear Politics has Sherrod Brown (D) up 6 over NRA & BFA endorsed and "A-rated" Jim Renacci. How is a man who was named the most liberal Senator (understand that is LEFT of Bernie Sanders!!!) representing a right leaning, battleground state like Ohio? How can someone who voted for Trump, or votes for Mike
DeWine/Jon Husted, Dave Yost, Keith Faber, Frank LaRose, Robert Sprague, Craig Baldwin, or Mary DeGenaro also vote for someone further left on the political spectrum than an avowed socialist?!

These are odd political times indeed. But in such odd times, there is incredible opportunity. All of the above races are close enough that gun owners can easily control the outcome if we all go out and vote our rights. But if we stay home, or worse yet vote against our endorsed candidates, we feed the fake news narrative that we are a fringe that can be ignored. We help George Soros and Michael Bloomberg and Everytown and Moms Demand Attention and every other radical "take all your guns" group fund-raise and convince politicians that it is safe for them to take away your right to keep and bear arms or exercise your right to self-defense.

Losses today, will need to be paid back, with interest we don't have. Wins today will bear fruit and return on our investment for years to come. Such is the nature of this election, and being involved in lobbying and legislation for 20 years I know this all too well. This is why I’ve been nervous about this election like none before. This is why I beg of every one of our supporters not just to vote for our candidates, but do encourage all those you know to get out and vote with us.

Ohio has 99 House seats up for election. There will likely be seats swapping from Republican to Democrat, and from Democrat to Republican. Net gain for either party is anyone's guess. Half of the Ohio Senate is up for election. Every race matters.

Please make sure to vote and remind friends and neighbors to vote too. Experts agree that voter turnout will be a deciding factor in many tight races.

Every U.S. Congress seat is up for election. We will not have a chance to dethrone our vehemently anti-gun, anti-freedom, anti-self-defense Senator again until 2024.

Elections matter. Vote for the people that will fight for the things that are important to you. Gun owners could control every race if we voted together. The only reason firearms are still a political issue is because gun owners continue to vote for people who are trying to deny us the right to own and use our guns.

To protect your rights, you must vote for candidates who understand and respect the Second Amendment. And it is vital that you vote in EVERY RACE, including those for local offices.

THE POLLS ARE OPEN TODAY from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

NEW! Use our BFA Voter App to look up candidates on your computer or mobile device: OhioGunVote.com

Jim Irvine is Chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association Political Action Committee (BFA-PAC). He is also Board President of Buckeye Firearms Association, and recipient of the NRA-ILA's 2011 "Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award," the CCRKBA's 2012 "Gun Rights Defender of the Year Award," and the SAF's 2015 "Defender of Freedom Award."

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