Our Opinion: Voting preserves and protects democracy

Will you vote in Tuesday’s election?

Or will you permit other people to decide the future of public education and the council members who will guide Jefferson City’s financial future?

Voters in the Jefferson City School District will decide two issues to build and operate a new high school and finance other initiatives.

Question 1 is a $79 million bond issue to construct a replacement high school east of Missouri 179 at Mission Drive, as well as a new elementary school to replace East School. Approval would raise the district tax levy by 30 cents per $100 assessed valuation.

Question 2 is a 25-cent levy increase to operate the new schools and enhance transportation, security, professional development and other concerns.

The combined property tax levy increase would be 55 cents, which translates into $157 annually for a $150,000 home.

In addition, district voters will choose two school members from among three candidates. They include Doug Whitehead and Dennis Nickelson, both incumbents, and Harold Coots.

In Jefferson City’s municipal election, choices will be made by residents in three of the city’s five wards.

In the 2nd Ward, incumbent Shawn Schulte is being challenged by Blake Marcus.

In the 3rd Ward, Len Stella and Ken Hussey are competing to fill the seat being vacated by Bryan Pope.

And, in the 4th Ward, Carlos Graham is challenging incumbent Bill Luebbert.

The winners will join incoming council members James Branch, who won the 1st Ward seat in a primary contest, and incumbent Ralph Bray, who faced no opposition in the 5th Ward.

School district and municipal elections also will be elsewhere in the state.

Past experience indicates voter turnout on Tuesday will be weak.

Sitting out an election weakens democracy.

We have a privilege countless other people do not enjoy. Voting is an exercise that strengthens that privilege.

We urge eligible voters to preserve and protect that process by castings their ballots Tuesday.

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