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Your vote matters

Your vote matters. Really it does. It may not feel like it in the national elections where millions of people are voting, but remember that with our electoral college system your vote counts toward who wins Iowa’s delegates.

It might even feel like it doesn’t matter who you vote for because you think there are no good choices. Actually there are nine choices for president and vice president this year. I don’t know a lot about most of them and there is very little chance any of the seven lesser known candidates could win. But if you just can’t bring yourself to vote for either major candidate, there are options.

A third-party vote is not a waste. You’re not “throwing away your shot.” — to mangle a totally unnecessary Hamilton quote. It is a vote to move away from the two-party system that has a stranglehold on our country.

Locally, your vote carries even more weight. We have three candidates running for sheriff. Two of them are write ins, but the last mayoral election showed that in a small town, a write-in candidate can win.

All three sheriff candidates have ties to Union County. One moved away and is ready to come back; the other two have lived and worked here their entire careers. Which is more important to you, the differing experience that comes with having worked in law enforcement in a larger area or the familiarity with the people and places in the county?

Are you frustrated with the way the local Republican party chose their candidate? You can voice that opinion through your vote.

The Union County Board of Supervisors has had to make many difficult decisions recently. Two of the three seats are up for grabs this year.

The three candidates have all served on the board; two currently, one previously. Are you happy with the direction the county has taken recently? You can vote to keep the current members. Are you angry about decisions they have made? Vote for the one who hasn’t been on the board for the last few years. (Do keep in mind that some of their decisions have been due to the restrictions placed on them by law and the choices they might have wished to make are outside the boundaries of their authority.)

Maybe you think the board should have more of a balanced representation of the political parties. You do have a Democratic candidate to vote for this year.

Some of our local races are uncontested, but that doesn’t mean they don’t matter. You can show your support for the job our county auditor is doing or for some of the various commissioners that make the day-to-day decisions in our county. Or you can say you don’t approve by writing in someone else.

The vote to retain judges is a straight yes or no. You don’t even have to decide between them.

Did you know that there is a public measure to hold a convention to revise the constitution? That’s a pretty big concept. Maybe you think there are things that need to be changed. Or maybe you think that if politicians start to mess with our founding document, they’ll screw it up beyond recognition. Either way, you get to have a say in it. But only if you vote.

I’m not going to tell you who to vote for. Heck, I’m still not sure who is the best choice in some of the races. (I have six more days to decide — and so do you.) But vote. Take a look at the sample ballot on the Union County website and educate yourself and then vote.

If you don’t, you forfeit all right to complain for the next four years. (Fine, I know it doesn’t actually work that way, but it should.)

Go vote. It matters.

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Let me know what matters to you at rsmith@crestonnews.com, 641-782-2141 ext. 6433, or c/o Creston News Advertiser, 503 W. Adams St., Creston, Iowa 50801.

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