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Opinion

Voting matters?

Your vote matters — or does it?

We’re supposed to encourage everyone to vote. It would be practically unAmerican to shirk your duty on Nov. 5.

I’m not so sure that’s true. Voting just for the sake of saying, “I voted,” might be more irresponsible than staying home.

Local and school elections are coming up in a couple of weeks. Do you know who you are voting for? Or who’s running? Or even what is on the ballot?
If you don’t, what’s the point of voting? How are you going to choose who to vote for?

I’ve heard rumors about that guy, I don’t want to vote for him. Mike Smith (not the name of an actual candidate), I know some Smiths; they’re great people. I’ll vote for him. I’m a republican/democrat/green party member. That’s how I vote. — Sorry, that won’t help in a local election, there are no parties listed.
City and school elections are a little different than national ones. Each district may have its own set of open positions. If you don’t know what district you live in, take a look at your voter’s registration card. It’s right there. You should have gotten a new one in the mail this year because of the change where city and school elections are now together.
You can go to the city website to see who your current council person is and if they’re up for reelection. Everyone in the city votes for the at-large position. There are two candidates on the ballot for that. Nope, not gonna tell you who — that’s your homework.

Three candidates for mayor this year. Have you even heard of them? (Bonus points if you know who the current mayor is.) We ran articles about them last Friday; you have no excuse. But space is limited in a newspaper, so we could only skim the top of who they are, what they’ve done and what their goals for the city are.
We, along with KSIB radio and the chamber, are hosting a debate at 6:30 p.m. on the 29th. Come out to SWCC to hear what they have to say so you can make a choice based on what they say is important to them and how well they are able to support their ideas.

There are quite a few other open positions on the ballot, depending on where you live. Most of them are uncontested, but that doesn’t mean they don’t matter. There’s always the option of a write-in candidate.

We also have three bond issues on the ballot in Creston. It would be nice to have a big, new pool and make McKinley Lake more of a center piece for the town. And who would vote against a better library?

All of these sound like great projects, but do you have enough facts to make an informed decision? How much is it going to cost? Will your taxes go up? (The short answer to that is yes.) But is it worth it? And can we afford to do them all? If not, which is the most important — or, maybe, which one will bring more tax revenue into Creston so we can afford to do the other ones later?

Stay tuned to the CNA for upcoming articles about the three projects, or go hang out with a librarian, MPAC member or someone on the Park and Rec board and ask some questions. They are passionate about their projects. If you are more of an online learner, the pool project has its own website thempac.org and the library website is creston.lib.ia.us.

The Union County website has all the information you need to get started. Find out where you vote, take a look at the sample ballots, or even ask for an absentee ballot. If you aren’t a fan of doing things online, you can get all of this information by taking a trip to the courthouse or giving them a call. But you’ll have to do it soon. You have until 5 p.m. Friday to ask for an absentee ballot.

It may seem like I’ve asked a lot of question this week without giving you answers. But that’s how this works. You get to make up your own minds, but you’ve got to put the effort in if you care about how it all turns out.

P.S. Don’t forget you need an ID to vote this year.

Voting in a free society is more than a right. It’s a responsibility. Don’t waste it by voting without knowing what you are voting for. It matters.

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What matters to you? Let me know at rsmith@crestonnews.com.

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