Editorial: Time to vote

Published Nov 4, 2012 at 04:00AM

With just a few days left until the election, Central Oregonians have missed the opportunity to mail their ballots in. From now on, you’ll have to drive to a drop-off spot before 8 p.m. Tuesday if you want your vote to be counted.

So far, turnout has been good, if not spectacular. By midweek, almost 44 percent of Crook County residents had returned ballots; 42 percent of Jefferson County ballots had been returned, and 37 percent of those in Deschutes County were back in the county’s clerk’s office.

Meanwhile, for those still mulling their choices, a quick reminder or two:

All three counties have listed their ballot drop sites on their websites. The Crook County listing is especially handy because it includes a link to a Google map showing where each drop site is. While hours of operation vary from site to site, all will be open until 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Voters will find that some candidates are running unopposed, and the temptation may be to pass those races by.

That would be a mistake.

In Deschutes County, for example, Sheriff Larry Blanton seeks re-election unopposed. If you like the job Blanton has done so far, go ahead and vote for him.

Though unlikely, a would-be opponent could mount a successful write-in campaign and win if Blanton supporters failed to mark their ballots.

Then there are the races that have received little public attention, among them the Deschutes Soil & Water Conservation District’s election of new board members.

Most of us pay little attention to the district. In reality it does good things in these parts, including assisting homeowners in reducing fuel loads around their houses and providing a manure exchange that links those with too much manure to those who need it for gardens and the like. In the process, local waterways are protected from contamination by the animal waste.

Those interested in the board should contact the district office.

Surely many of us will heave a sigh of relief Wednesday morning when the election is over and the campaigning stops. Meanwhile, however, your vote is important. Don’t let it go to waste.

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