Our Voice: With election approaching, this is good week to fill out your ballot

October 27, 2013 

With Election Day fast approaching, this is a good week to dig your ballot out from under that pile of mail and fill it in.

Election Day is Nov. 5. That means ballots must be returned or postmarked by that day or they don't count.

Sure, it's an off-year election with no federal races or even much happening statewide. But even so, Mid-Colubmbia voters will make many important decisions -- from who will run our schools and towns to the information producers include on food labels.

It can be a daunting task deciding which candidates and issues deserve your support. Each election season, the Herald editorial board tries to provide information and opinions to help readers make their picks.

We interview candidates and publish our recommendations. We put a lot of hours into this endeavor. It's a long process and a thoughtful one, but it's not foolproof. And even members of our editorial board don't follow the recommendations 100 percent when it comes to marking their private ballots.

Our recommendations, as much as we value them, are just one of several tools for you to use in making your own choices.

Do we still think everyone should vote? Yes! But we emphasize that the obligation is more than just to mark a ballot. The obligation is to prepare yourself to mark a ballot.

Be an informed voter. Articles and editorials on this year's races are available online at tri-cityherald.com/election-news.

Here are our recommendations for Mid-Columbia voters.

Ballot measures

Initiative 517 -- No

Initiative 522 -- No

Legislature

8th District Senate -- Sharon Brown

Judicial

State Court of Appeals -- George Fearing

Benton County

Benton Fire District 1 levy lid lift -- yes

Port of Kennewick -- Tom Moak and Don Barnes

Three Rivers Convention Center expansion -- Yes

Richland School Board -- Rick Jansons and Heather Cleary

Richland City Council -- Gregory L. Jones, David Rose and Sandra Kent

Kennewick City Council -- John Hubbard, John Trumbo, Greg Jones and Don Britain

Kennewick Public Hospital District -- Wanda Briggs and Erik Malson

Kennewick School Board -- Dawn Adams

West Richland mayor -- Brent Gerry

West Richland City Council -- Johan Curtiss

Franklin County

Franklin Fire District 3 levy lid lift -- no

Pasco City Council -- Mike Garrison

Pasco School Board -- William Leggett, Sherry Lancon and Amy Phillips

Port of Pasco -- Jean Ryckman

Pasco Proposition 1 -- No

Pasco Proposition 2 -- No

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

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