It's Election Day today, and we encourage you to exercise your right to vote. Polls are open until 9:00 p.m., and even though this isn't a national election year, it's still important and every vote counts. For more information, contact the Oneida County Board Of Elections. And how things have changed on election day since I was a kid.

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I remember growing up in Utica, and as a kid, we always had the day off, so they could use the schools for polling places (and hold all those election day bake sales). Now, schools are open and most people don't get the day off.

When I was a kid, I remember that my Uncle Jim was running for election, and re-election as an Alderman in the City of Utica. My father used to campaign for my uncle, and he'd bring me along to the court house to hand out election cards for my uncle. That always seemed like a big deal! The election cards had the candidate's name and photograph on them, and to me, holding a stack of them was like having baseball cards!

Anyhow, it was always exciting on election day for my family, and since I didn't have to go school that day, that was a bonus!

Flashback: If you're old enough to remember, years ago liquor stores and bars were closed on election day in New York State, and you couldn't sell alcohol. That law bit the dust a long time ago.