Lots of local races on today’s ballot; get out and vote

Voters today will weigh in on more than 100 political candidates and nearly 20 tax levies. They will elect the officials who will help shape the future of local townships, municipalities and boards of education for the next several years.

In Niles, a new municipal court judge will be selected to hear and help decide local outcomes in legal matters from Weathersfield, McDonald and Niles. The amount of taxes that property owners will pay also will be decided in more than a dozen local communities.

This “off year” or “odd year” election is often viewed as small or unimportant and, in fact, the turnout generally is reflective of that. This year, for instance, election officials are predicting turnout of only about 23 to 25 percent of registered voters. Sadly, that falls well below the turnout in other national or statewide races.

That’s baffling to us, since the results of this grassroots election year is so crucial to every community. It’s this election when residents will decide who will make decisions about what streets will be paved, how much local teachers and superintendents will be paid or the future of school buildings and property, like those in Mathews and Lakeview school districts.

One would think voters and property owners would run to the polls today to make their feelings known on such important issues.

The polls are open today 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. If you are a registered voter, now is your chance.

Here is a recap of the endorsements issued by the Tribune Chronicle over the past several weeks:

• Howland trustees: Matthew Vansuch and James LaPolla Jr.

• Liberty trustees: Jason Rubin and Stan Nudell

• Newton Falls Council at-large: Tarry Alberini

• Niles City Council at-large: Ryan McNaughton and Michael Lastic

• Vienna trustees: Richard Dascenzo Jr. and Heidi Brown

• Warren Township trustees: Kay Anderson and Robert Bush

• Howland Board of Education: Kenneth Jones, Matthew Darrin and Julie Altawil

• Lakeview Board of Education: Donna Zuga, Larry Sherer and Mary Williams

• Mathews Board of Education: Tarin Brown, Tom Gifford and Jim Pegg