Myriad issues are rising to the fore in the days preceding the upcoming election: reproductive rights, police brutality, racial reckoning, LGBTQ+ acceptance.

But truly, the most pressing issue on the ballot — on every ballot — is the defeat of those who would dismantle our government. We’re talking about the seditionists who with their words and actions abetted the Jan. 6 Insurrection, the ones who voted to overturn the 2020 election, the ones who still maintain the Big Lie.

These are planks in the platforms of almost 300 Republicans vying for high office this year.

According to a report in the Washington Post this week, there are 299 election deniers running in state and local elections in 48 of 50 states — thank you Rhode Island and North Dakota. Ten of them are running right here in North Carolina, and at least one of them will be on our ballots in the Triad.

That would be Rep. Ted Budd, now running for Senate, whose disdain for democracy has been well documented in our publication and many others. His highlights include voting against impeachment — twice — in the face of a preponderance of evidence that the president committed impeachable offenses, and his vote as a member of the US House to overturn the 2020 election, which earned him a full-throated Trump endorsement. That race is too close to call.

The same cannot be said for Rep. Virginia Foxx, whose raspy support of Trump includes voting against impeachment — twice — and to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Her 5th Congressional District was drawn just for her; she should easily prevail over Democrat challenger Kyle Parrish.

Most of the election deniers — 174 of 299 counted by the Post — are in safe districts just like Foxx. In NC, districts 3, 7, 8 and 9 will also almost certainly go to people who are lying to everyone’s face: Reps Greg Murphy, David Rouser, Dan Bishop and Richard Hudson, respectively. Throw in Bo Hines in the 13th and Sandy Smith in the 1st, both of whom have a fighting chance against their Democrat rivals, and we’re looking at possibly eight enemies of the state that we could send to Washington.

Understand, this does not include downballot candidates in county commission and school board races, which hold many dozens of election deniers across our 100 counties. This makes the picture look pretty grim.

But here in the Old North State, we still believe there are more of us than there are of them. Though those numbers only matter if everyone comes out to vote.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Get registered now at ncsbe.gov.

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