The power of choice

Marion voters will be the only ones in the county with real choices during spring elections April 1, with three candidates for mayor and five for two council positions. Elsewhere, Hillsboro and Burns have exactly enough candidates to fill openings on their city councils unless someone mounts a write-in campaign.

A majority of the council is up for grabs — and all but one seat if Todd Heitschmidt wins his mayoral bid and has to vacate his council seat. This election will set the stage for the next four years in city government.

That is why it’s so important that Marion’s voters will have real choices to make in the voting booth. I’ve written about it before, but local elections have the most immediate effects on a community, and they are the elections that individual voters have the most influence on.

Marion’s last mayoral election was decided by only 31 votes. Meanwhile, more than 1,000 residents 18 or older stayed away from the polls. Basically, voter turnout matters. With that in mind, the last day to register to vote in the city general election is March 11, a month and a half away.

— ADAM STEWART

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