Saturday, Aug 18, 2018
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Voting for mayor


David Padgett of Toledo, left, signs in to vote with poll workers Dennis Stasiak, center, and William Hughes, both of Toledo, at Old Orchard Elementary School. The voting is going 'slow, but steady' at the school in Toledo on Tuesday.

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Toledoans go to the polls today to make a preliminary decision about who will be the mayor for the next four years. We call it a primary, though it is really a run-off. We call it a nonpartisan election, though it is really all about partisanship.

And we call it democracy, though only a fourth to a fifth of the eligible voters generally vote for mayor in the city of Toledo.

This just isn’t good enough.

Toledoans need to be better citizens than that.

You can argue that it is better for a small number of voters who are informed to vote than for 100 percent of the eligible voters to vote and 90 percent of them to be ignorant of the issues. And that may be so. But shouldn’t most of the voters be informed and engaged?

Consider three things:

● First, freedom has a cost. Young people, sons and daughters, have died for the right to vote. (Yes, and the right not to vote too, if it is a principled act.)

● Second, consider the importance of the issues before us in 2017: water, addiction, streets, blight, poverty, crime, jobs.

● And consider third, the importance of the office. The mayor of Toledo is not only a “strong” mayor. He or she is the face of this city, of Greater Toledo, and, to a degree, northwest Ohio.

Some nations mandate voting. Others fine people for not voting. Ironically, as it has gotten easier to vote in recent years, voter participation has declined, though early voting this year looks promising.

This election matters. Most elections matter. But much is at stake in this one. And many elections are remarkably close. Get out there. Your vote can and will make a difference. You might help to make a profound change.

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