On the eve of an election marked by the bitterest presidential race in modern history, Martha’s Vineyard voters hardly need the usual exhortation to vote.

Already more than half of the Island’s registered voters have cast their ballots ahead of election day on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Early voting ends Saturday in all Island towns.

Marked by unending rancor and deeply colored by the coronavirus pandemic — surging again in the U.S. and around the world — this election year will be historic by any measure.

The anxious mood of a country on edge has trickled down to the Vineyard, which feels a little less insulated these days from the rest of America. The stakes are high, the rhetoric ugly and the acrimony unmatched in any previous election.

And if early voting is any indication, voter turnout could reach record highs. Towns clerks across the Island this week are bracing for a busy Tuesday. Polls will be open in every Island town from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In a year so dominated by presidential politics, statewide and local races seem almost an afterthought, but these are important too. U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, the incumbent Democrat, is opposed by Republican Kevin J. O’Connor, and incumbent U.S. Rep. Bill Keating, also a Democrat, is facing Republican Helen Brady and Michael Manley, of the Coach Team America party.

Both Democratic state legislators, Sen. Julian Cyr and Rep. Dylan Fernandes, are running for re-election unopposed.

One of the few contested races is for the Martha’s Vineyard Commission. In its biennial election, nine candidates are running for nine at-large seats, but because of a rule requiring at least one and not more than two people to be elected from each of the six towns, there is a race this year in Tisbury. Three candidates from that town — Clarence A. (Trip) Barnes 3rd, Joshua Goldstein and Ben Robinson — are seeking the seat.

Interviews with all the commission candidates appear online and in the Friday print edition.

Similar interviews appear online for the Dukes County Commission, where there is no contest: seven candidates are running for seven seats.

By long tradition the Gazette does not endorse political candidates, preferring to provide voters with ample information ahead of election time to help them decide on important local races.

The newspaper does sometimes take positions on local ballot questions, and a sleeper question facing voters this year involves whether to change the country treasurer from an elected to an appointed job.

The proposed change is rooted in somewhat murky events that date to a decade ago when the state Department of Revenue conducted a review of county financial structure. The DOR recommended at the time that the elected treasurer be changed to an appointed post. Two years ago the county commission decided to act on the old recommendation from the DOR; why it took that long is unclear. Further confusing matters, even if Question 3 were approved, the six-year elected position now held by treasurer Ann Metcalf, who is seeking reelection Tuesday, would be secure, since the change would not take effect until 2027.

The change is opposed by the former treasurer who notes that the change would eliminate a check on the authority of the county commission.

With more questions than answers surrounding the ballot question — even the county commission itself is divided on the merits of the proposed change — the Gazette recommends a no vote on Question 3.

Two other ballot questions involve statewide issues: ranked choice voting and a right-to-repair question that would give automobile owners freer choice when it comes to choosing a shop for vehicle repairs.

The Gazette will be carrying local coverage throughout the day, including results after the polls close, on its award-winning website vineyardgazette.com. The site is free and open to all readers.

In a year when the very legitimacy of the election has been questioned, Martha’s Vineyard’s town clerks and elections workers deserve special praise. Clerks have been working overtime for weeks on end to make sure the election runs smoothly. Their professionalism and dedication is a model for other town office holders. For example, a small glitch with mail-in ballots in Oak Bluffs was handled swiftly and transparently by town clerk Colleen Morris early this month.

If Martha’s Vineyard voters won’t swing the nation election, at least every vote will be counted.

Detailed information for voters appears online and in print. If you haven’t done so yet, please vote on Tuesday.