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The more voters that exercise that privilege, the better the will of the people is represented

As of the publication date of this editorial, voters have one week left to turn in their ballots and have their voice heard on many critical candidate races and ballot measures locally and statewide.

Voter turnout in Crook County has traditionally been strong in general elections, both the midterms and the presidential elections. In 2014, 73.5% of voters returned a ballot and in 2016, that percentage rose to 81.23%. Similarly, in 2018, 67.31% voted and in 2020 the turnout rose to 80.97%.

Now, it is time to once again shine in this regard and not just because it makes the turnout numbers look good but because it helps shape the next few years in Crook County, Oregon and even the country. The more voters that exercise that privilege, the better the will of the people is represented.

Consider that local voters will decide the outcome of three different ballot measures as well as the outcome of two contested candidate races — city council positions and county treasurer. Who represents Crook County in the Oregon Legislature is at stake as well as who speaks for Oregon in Congress. The race for Oregon governor will also get decided and recent polling suggests it is a neck-and-neck between the top two candidates — obviously, every vote counts but especially in a close race.

If you haven't turned in a ballot yet, don't hesitate. Make your voice heard by the votes that you cast, not on the social media platforms or other forums that have no impact. Help shape your future for the next several years and perhaps much longer.

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