Exercise your right: Get out and vote

It is disheartening that local elections boards are predicting that less than one in three registered voters will cast ballots in today’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.

Locally, there are races and levies that should bring voters out. Voters in Belpre and Warren are being asked to renew school levies already in place. Neither would result in new taxes and would allow much needed funding to continue to come into the local districts for general operation of the schools.

Washington County’s Republican voters will choose between two candidates for a seat on the Washington County Commission: Jeremy Barton and Rick Walters. The winner has no challenger in the fall. Napoli’s is seeking approval to add liquor in Belpre. In the race for the 6th Congressional District Democrat Jennifer Garrison faces off against Democrat Greg Howard, the winner of whom will advance to the November election. And in the 94th Ohio House District, Republican Yolan Dennis takes on Republican Dan Lantz, the winner of whom will advance to November.

Voters across the state also will decide a proposed constitutional amendment to continue funding for Ohio Public Works Commission projects. The projects will be funded through the sale of state bonds. 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.