EDITORIAL | Casting a ballot is an act of patriotism

It’s easy enough to complain about government — city, state, federal. We all do it at one time or another.

For some, criticizing government and our elected leaders is a veritable sport. Complaints and criticism don’t carry much weight or meaning, however, if they are not backed up with a vote.

Sadly, many people forget that voting is a right that didn’t come easily. Blood was spilled, soldiers and patriots died. To this day, some nations don’t have the right to pick their representatives.

With a great democracy comes great responsibilities — civic awareness and the casting of ballots.

Our country was built on the belief that our elected representatives work for us, not the other way around. Your elected representatives, paid by your tax dollars, decide how public funds are spent.

By voting, you send a strong message that you’re paying attention, that you are holding them accountable for every penny spent and every vote cast.

There are some important races on the Nov. 5 general election ballot. This is an “off-year” election, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important. Fact is, every one of us has the power to shape the future of our communities at the polls.

If you aren’t currently registered to vote, do it now.

Deadline for voter registration, changes of address and other updates to voter information is Monday, Oct. 7.

Friday, Oct. 18 will start the 18-day voting period, which concludes on Election Day. Ballots are placed in the mail and accessible voting units are available at voting centers.

Monday, Oct. 28 is the deadline for in-person new Washington state voter registration. On Election Day, ballots are can be mailed or placed in drop boxes until 8 p.m.

On Whidbey Island, drop boxes are located at the Island County Elections Office, 400 N. Main St., Coupeville; Oak Harbor City Hall, 865 Barrington Ave.; Trinity Lutheran Church, 18341 Highway 525, Freeland; and Ken’s Korner, 4141 Highway 525, Clinton.

If you are registered to vote but miss the deadline to update your address, you can still vote. Contact the county elections office where you are registered to request a ballot.

Washington state voting is all done by mail. It’s not only easy, it allows you time to review the ballot choices and get educated.

Candidates are beginning to make their rounds, knocking on doors and shaking hands at community events. Get informed and ask them tough questions. Tell them what you expect. Exact promises and enforce them at the polls.

You should receive your ballot at least 18 days before the election. If you do not receive your ballot, contact the Island County Auditor at 360-679-7366.

Make voting be your ultimate act of patriotism.


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