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Let’s register, vote

If you haven’t noticed, things have really started to heat up as we move closer to the Nov. 5 election.

And, while off-year elections can sometimes offer little in the way of choices on the ballot, that’s not the case this year. That, hopefully, should lead to a good turnout.

One of the biggest races on this year’s local ballot will be for Steubenville’s council at large seat.

Republican Kimberly Hahn is looking to be re-elected to the position she won four years ago. She is facing off against Michael Johnson, a former 2nd Ward councilman who is running as an independent candidate, and Michael Walenciez, a Democrat.

It’s a race that features veteran campaigners. Hahn defeated incumbent Kenny Davis four years ago. Johnson, meanwhile, lost his re-election bid to Craig Petrella two years ago, and Walenciez was defeated in his bid for mayor two years ago in a race that was won by Jerry Barilla.

Every voter in the city will have the chance to make his or her choice on the seat, which should bring people to the polls.

Steubenville also has contested races in the 1st and 3rd wards. Democrat Asantewa Anyabwile and independents Terry Bickerstaff and Peter DeFranks are all seeking the 1st Ward seat held by Gerald DiLoreto, who chose not to seek re-election.

In the 3rd Ward, incumbent Republican Eric Timmons is being challenged by Louise Holliday, who is running as an independent.

There are other contested races all around Jefferson County. In Adena, for example, Mark Anderson, Crystal Carpenter and Brenda Roski all are running for mayor, while Marty McCallister and Jim Phillips are seeking the mayor’s post in Amsterdam. Incumbent Democrat Ed Fithen, meanwhile, is being challenged by Councilman George Irvin Jr. for the mayor’s post in Mingo Junction. And in Richmond, incumbent Mayor Harry Thomas is being challenged by former Mayor Leonard Orwick.

Contested races for mayor also are being held in Tiltonsville — Dan Signorini and Jason Staskey — and in Yorkville — Dana Brown and Sandy Reasbeck.

Voters in Mingo Junction also will see eight candidates seeking four spots on Village Council, while Wintersville voters will have three choices for the two available council seats.

There are several levies and issues around the county that likely will bring out the voters, including one in Adena, where the sensible marijuana ordinance is on the ballot.

If passed, it would lower the penalty for a misdemeanor marijuana offense to the lowest penalty allowed by state law.

The Edison Local and Jefferson County Joint Vocational school districts have levy renewals on the ballot, as do the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County and seniors services (Prime Time.)

It means that residents of all parts of Jefferson County will have reason to vote this time around.

But to be able to cast a ballot, you will have to be registered to vote, and if you have not done that yet — or if your registration has lapsed — you are almost out of time. The deadline to register to vote in the November election is Monday.

Officials with the election boards in Jefferson and Harrison counties are making it a little easier if you have waited until the last minute. The election board in Harrison County, located at 538 N. Main St. in Cadiz, will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, while the Jefferson County board, located in the Towers in downtown Steubenville, will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Early voting in Ohio will begin Tuesday.

If recent elections offer any indication, it’s likely that most races and issues will come down to just a few votes. That means each vote is important — and it’s critical that everyone is registered and casts a ballot.

(Gallabrese, a resident of Steubenville, is the executive editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times.)

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