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Make your vote count Tuesday

November 7, 2011
The Herald-Star

Area voters have a chance Tuesday to have their voices heard.

Tuesday is the general election, which features many contested races in Steubenville, villages townships and school boards. There are also several levies to be decided and voters will finally have a say on three statewide issues, including state Issue 2.

The Jefferson County Board of Elections is estimating 46 percent of the county's 47,896 registered voters will cast ballots in Tuesday's election. That means one out of two voters just don't care.

This election is about local government. These are the people who will make decisions that impact you most. They decide water rates, paving projects, police protection and how to balance a financially-strapped budget, not to mention how our children will be educated.

There are contested elections for council at large and the unexpired 4th Ward seat in Steubenville. Mingo Junction has contested elections for mayor and council. There are five people seeking the Smithfield mayor's post. There are two candidates for the Wintersville clerk-treasurer position.

Seven of the county's 14 townships - Brush Creek, Ross, Springfield, Steubenville, Warren, Wayne and Wells townships - have contested elections for township trustee.

Buckeye and Edison local school districts have two seats up for election on each board. Buckeye Local has seven candidates and Edison Local has five candidates.

There are several important levies on the ballot. Edison Local School District has a 9.45-mill levy for current expenses. Jefferson County Joint Vocational School is asking for an additional 1-mill levy for current expenses, purchasing equipment for buildings and improving buildings. Jefferson County's 911 system is seeking a replacement levy of 1.5 mills for continued operation.

Toronto voters are being asked to renew a 0.5 percent income tax.

We are urging voters to approve those levies and the Toronto income tax.

Issue 2 should bring out the voters. It will determine how government workers will be paid, public employee contracts and other policies.

There certainly are enough contested races, levies and state issues to bring out the vote.

This election may be more important than the one we will face next year with the president. Local elections mean more to the voter. If their candidate doesn't do as promised, it is simply a matter of picking up the phone for a local call or even walking down the street.

People can yell for change at some rally.

But the real change comes at the ballot box.

I am looking for: