In our opinion: Get out your vote

We often use this space to encourage city and county leadership to make decisions or take action in ways that we support and believe in. This week, with the mailing of ballots, we want to encourage our readers, the public to take the time and fill out their entire ballot before mailing them in or dropping them off by 8 p.m. On Nov. 8.

The county elections office expects that 76,000 of the 146,000 currently registered voters to send in ballots after voting on state and local issues, such as an open county commissioners seat, a Bremerton City Council seat, a Central Kitsap School Board seat and Proposition 1, the Veterans and Human Services Levy.

We encourage the other 70,000 to speak their minds and make the effort to participate in the local version of the democratic process. We won’t tell you how to vote, but do implore you all to vote in every race and on every issue presented to the citizenry.

Proponents and opponents of ballot issues and candidates will spout on ad nauseam without the interruption of the election, but in the end the future makeup of your school board, your city council and your Board of County Commissioners all rests upon you individually.

If you think local elections don’t matter, consider that the now famous entertainer and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin went from a seat on a city council for a town of 5,600 to governor of a state with the population about the same as the city of Seattle to vice presidential candidate in 12 years. She won her first local election with a margin of 220 votes, her second election by 211 votes. Remember that the recent gubernatorial elections between Dino Rossi and Chris Gregoire that were decided by hundreds of votes.

With local issues, citizens must vote to effect the best possible outcome for local issues and quality of life. If you’re not registered yet, the county will hold an in-person voter registration, for those not currently registered in Washington state, on Oct. 31.

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