Friday, November 3, 2017
You may think that since there isn’t a presidential election this year that you don’t need to vote.
The truth is, however, your vote is more important in off-election years than it is for state and federal offices. Just look around the Lower Yakima Valley to see why.
In Sunnyside, a longtime councilwoman is waging a write-in campaign to retain her seat against a challenger who wants the city to run differently. Do you like the way the city is headed? Then vote. Do you want city government to change? Then vote.
In Mabton, there’s a great race shaping up between an embattled incumbent mayor who has brought improvements to infrastructure to the city and a businessman with new ideas on leading the community. Are you happy with the city’s general direction? If so, or if not, this is your chance to speak up, or put up.
Just across the county line there is political battle shaping up for the leadership role in the Benton County Sheriff’s Office. Should an experienced lawman lead the Sheriff’s Office? Should a newcomer take over? You can help decide the outcome by voting.
There are also a few straw ballots taking place relating to taxes and marijuana.
Here in Yakima County a non-binding measure is asking voters what they think about recreational marijuana sales in unincorporated areas. While the vote is just a straw ballot, it is an important tool to let county lawmakers know what you think on the subject.
The same goes for three advisory votes on taxes implemented by the Legislature in its last session. Those votes, again non-binding, are on the ballot to let lawmakers know what the public believes on the new taxes, rates that were set without a vote of the public.
This is your chance to have a say on who leads our communities. Take a few minutes to get informed and cast your vote.
Ballots are due across the entire Lower Yakima Valley — indeed the entire state — Tuesday. Make sure to get them in drop boxes or have them postmarked in time to be counted.
If you don’t believe voting should be a high priority for you this weekend, then stay quiet about the outcome.
It’s time to put up or shut up.