In less than two weeks, this chess-game-meets-Sumo matchotherwise known as the electionwill be over. Candidates and their volunteers will uproot the campaign signs that have checkered our highway medians all summer. The old men featured in the Kay Hagan vs. Elizabeth Dole ad will retire from acting. Television advertising will return to normal, enticing us to buy products to make our floors cleaner rather than telling us which candidate is dirtier.

This could be the most important and historic election in modern times. To guide you through the voting ballot, particularly the state and local races (Are you really undecided about Obama vs. McCain?), here are the Indy endorsements, including those unveiled in our online Elections section since last Thursday.

Members of our editorial staff research the racesanalyzing candidates’ questionnaires; combing public documents, databases and voting records; and conducting other researchto decide who we think would best further a progressive policy agenda.

While we feel solid in our recommendations, we encourage you to read the candidates’ questionnaires to learn more about their platforms.

When voting, remember that there are two sides to the ballot, so be sure to turn it over. Also, if you vote straight ticket, make sure you fill in your presidential choice separately. A straight party ticket does not include the president.

Early voting runs through Nov. 1, as does same-day registration. Election Day is Nov. 4, but you cannot register to vote that day.

Please vote. If there was ever a vital time to chime in on the future of Americaand, it would not be an overstatement to say, the worldit is now. Lisa Sorg