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You can make your voice heard

It’s easy to understand that some area residents are thinking that there is no reason for them to cast a ballot in Tuesday’s primary election.

There is, after all, nothing contested on the ballot Democrats will receive and only central committee spots contested on the ballot Republicans will receive.

Members of both parties will have the chance to cast a complimentary vote for candidates for Ohio’s 96th District seat in the state House of Representatives, both of whom are assured of advancing to the Nov. 8 general election. For Republicans, that’s incumbent Ron Ferguson of Wintersville, and for Democrats, that’s Charlie DiPalma of Steubenville.

The only truly contested spots on the ballot are on for seats on the GOP State Central Committee — Jim Carnes of St. Clairsville and Shannon L. Walker of Pomeroy are facing off on the man’s side, while Nichole Hunter of New Matamoras and LeeAnn Johnson of Marietta are facing off on the woman’s side.

For the Democrats, John Hasley of Athens and Karla D. Gregory-Martin are unopposed.

Seldom do voters face so few true choices, a situation created when this additional primary was necessitated because members of the state Legislature were not able to come up with a redistricting plan that could be approved by the state Supreme Court.

There will be a lot to vote on Nov. 8, including the race between Ferguson and DiPalma. Among those battles will be one of the most closely watched U.S. Senate races in the country, in which Republican J.D. Vance and Democrat Tim Ryan are squaring off for the seat that is held by Republican Rob Portman, who is retiring at the end of the year.

If you are not registered to vote and are planning to cast a ballot in the Nov. 8 election, you have until Oct. 11 to complete that process.

If you are registered and have not taken advantage of any of the methods Ohio offers for early voting, get out and do so. That simple effort of casting a ballot will show you support our nation’s process of selecting leaders through a free and open process.

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