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Get out and vote

On Tuesday, it will once again be time for us to do our duty to our country and our communities.

Tuesday is Election Day in Ohio. We will not be voting to select the most powerful person in the land, nor will we be choosing the voices that will speak for us in Washington, D.C., or Columbus. However, we still have plenty of important choices to make, and they are choices that likely will have more real impact on our day-to-day lives.

In Belmont County, residents of St. Clairsville, Martins Ferry, Bethesda, Holloway and Yorkville will select new mayors. New council members will be chosen in St. Clairsville, Flushing, Powhatan Point and Bellaire. Several townships will elect new trustees or fiscal officers, and at least four schools boards will get new members as a result of this election.

New board of education members also will be named in the Harrison Hills and Switzerland of Ohio school districts. Adena, Bowerston and Jewett in Harrison County will choose new mayors, while the Monroe County village of Woodsfield will do the same. Plenty of township trustees and fiscal officers are running contested races on those ballots as well.

Various school districts, fire and police departments and other government entities also are asking voters to renew existing levies or to approve new ones to add funds to their coffers. In a few cases, voters are being asked to approve changes to alcohol sales restrictions for certain businesses.

The people who will be seated following this election will make choices for you and your children. They will influence what happens in your hometowns, whether dilapidated buildings are demolished, when roads are repaired and what extracurricular activities are available at local schools. The funding issues will determine what vehicles and equipment emergency responders have to utilize, how government facilities are maintained and more.

Each one of us who is a registered voter has a right – and a responsibility – to help make these decisions by going to the polls and casting a ballot. On Tuesday, make sure you do your part.

And remember, in the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt: “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”

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