Your vote matters

Kansans will never know exactly how much was spent desperately trying to influence them in this insane election year, or by whom. But all the nasty mailings and ludicrous ads have been coming Kansans’ way for only one reason – their votes matter. That’s an empowering message that all voters should take to the polls on Tuesday.

The Kansans who vote may help decide which party controls the U.S. Senate and therefore the Congress for the remaining two years of President Obama’s term, which is why the state has endured more than 25,300 airings of TV ads related to Sen. Pat Roberts’ quest for a fourth term.

Kansans also are passing judgment on Gov. Sam Brownback, whose tax cuts and resulting budget deficits have helped make the well-known Republican vulnerable. According to another Center for Public Integrity estimate, the governor’s race has been the subject of more than 29,100 airings of TV commercials.

That’s upwards of $21.3 million on TV ads alone for the two contests statewide, with Wichita under the extra assault of the sales-tax campaigning. (The hero of the year may be the late Eugene Polley, inventor of the TV remote control and mute button.)

Also close to home, voters in two districts will determine whether the Sedgwick County Commission takes a sharp right turn.

And there will be keen interest in whether voters statewide endorse four more years of Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s litigation and voting limitations. Another question is whether the Kansas House will remain as conservative as it is.

Those who haven’t already taken advantage of the great opportunity to vote early in Kansas should consult the online 2014 Voter Guide – then get ready to wield their might at the ballot box.

Here are The Eagle editorial board’s recommendations in contested area and state races. Full endorsements are at Kansas.com/opinion.

U.S. Senate: Greg Orman

4th Congressional District: Mike Pompeo

1st Congressional District: James Sherow

Governor: Paul Davis

Secretary of state: Jean Schodorf

Attorney general: Derek Schmidt

Treasurer: Ron Estes

Insurance commissioner: Dennis Anderson

Sedgwick County Commission

District 4: Melody McCray-Miller

District 5: Jim Howell

18th Judicial District

Division 5: Gregory J. Waller

Kansas appellate courts: Retain Supreme Court justices Justices Lee Johnson and Eric S. Rosen and Court of Appeals Judges Tom Malone, Stephen D. Hill, Patrick D. McAnany, Kim R. Schroeder, Henry W. Green Jr., Anthony J. Powell, Michael B. Buser and Melissa Taylor Standridge

Wichita sales tax question: Yes

Constitutional amendment: Yes

Kansas House

District 81: Lynn Wells

District 82: Danette Harris

District 83: Carolyn Bridges

District 84: Gail Finney

District 85: Steven Brunk

District 86: Jim Ward

District 87: Charles Jenney

District 88: Patricia M. Sloop

District 89: Roderick A. Houston

District 92: John Carmichael

District 93: John Whitmer

District 95: Tom Sawyer

District 96: Brandon Whipple

District 98: Steve Anthimides

District 100: Daniel R. Hawkins

District 105: Mark E. Hutton