Up to 80% of those eligible to vote today will not, experts predict of today’s general election.
It is such a shame because, if we are to be frank about this, the issues and races appearing on today’s ballot have more local impact than most or all other ballots.
This is because this is the election year when voters decide important basic issues, such as who will govern the school districts where our children attend. It is the election when decisions are made about who governs our townships or municipalities. Remember, it’s the people who decide which local roads to pave or, more importantly, how the US bailout funds will be spent once in a lifetime. Will it be on sidewalks or sanitary sewer lines? Will it be used to demolish the plague and rebuild neighborhoods? Do you have concerns about local crime, rental properties, flooding or other infrastructure issues? It’s election when the people who make these important decisions are elected for the next four years.
In Trumbull County, the levies – both renewals and additional funds – will be determined by voters. There is even a community, Farmington, in which voters will decide on the repeal of zoning.
Now do you see how important today’s election is?
However, the anticipated participation rate was very low. Trumbull County Electoral Council Director Stephanie Penrose said the lack of mail-order ballot requests and few in-person voters lead her to predict a turnout of between 20 and 25%.
We think everyone should care enough to leave today. Remember that our system of government in the United States is based on voter participation. Choice is what keeps our office holders from becoming too comfortable in their role as public servants. It holds them accountable for their decisions and their electoral promises.
We urge registered voters to live up to their civic responsibility by voting today.
Here are some things you should know:
Polling stations are open from 6.30 a.m. to 7.30 p.m.
And don’t forget to bring your unexpired photo ID.
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Just in case you missed it, here’s a quick recap of the political candidate recommendations released in recent weeks by the Tribune Chronicle Editorial Board in some of today’s main races:
• Warren’s At-Large Council: Incumbent Helen Rucker and City Councilor Ken MacPherson, who hopes to move from Ward 5 to an At-Large seat. Both are Democrats.
• Adviser to Warren 1st Ward: independent challenger Todd Johnson
• Council of Warren 4th Ward: Republican Kristin Riley
• Adviser to Warren 5th Warren: independent Kamau Thornton
• Directors of Howland: the incumbents James LaPolla and Matthew Vansuch
• Niles At-Large Council: Democrats Al Cantola and Jimmy Julian, plus James DePasquale, independent candidate, for three extraordinary seats.