It is disheartening that the Jefferson County Board of Elections is predicting that less than one in three registered voters will cast ballots in Tuesday's primary election.
In a free, democratic nation, voting is a privilege that needs to be exercised. Staying at home and pretending not to care is not what democracy is all about.
There are several races and levies that should bring voters out.
There are contested Democratic primaries for governor, county auditor and common pleas court judge. If no independent candidate files by the 4 p.m. deadline today, winners Tuesday for common pleas judge and county auditor will not be opposed on the November general election ballot. So the primary election is the election for those seats.
There are two school levies on the ballot. Edison Local School District has an additional 5.9 mills for current expenses. Jefferson County Joint Vocational School District has a 0.5-mill renewal for current expenses. Voters should approve both levies for the education of our children.
Voters countywide will decide on a levy for senior citizen services through Prime Time. It is a 1-mill renewal and an additional 0.2 mills. There were 201,232 home-delivered meals and 50,142 meals served at congregate sites last year to our senior citizens. More than 14,000 transportation trips were provided by Prime Time last year for older residents for medical appointments. This levy also should be approved by voters.
Wintersville has a renewal of 2 mills for fire protection and emergency medical services.
Voters in Tiltonsville, Yorkville and Cross Creek Township, except Wintersville and New Alexandria, will vote on whether to form an electric aggregation district. Cross Creek also has a natural gas aggregation issue.
Wells Township has a replacement levy in the amount of 2 mills for police protection for a continuing period of time.
Voters also will decide a proposed constitutional amendment to continue funding for Ohio Public Works Commission projects throughout the state. The projects will be funded through the sale of state bonds. Jefferson County has received about $25 million to $30 million for projects countywide since it began about 27 years ago. Local government funding has been cut during the past several years, so the Ohio Public Works Commission money for infrastructure projects is needed and should be approved by voters.
A primary election routinely has lower voter turnout, but there certainly are important races and levies and issues on Tuesday's ballot.
We urge voters to cast a ballot and make their voices heard.