Maybe we don't really need to write this editorial this time. Seldom have voters in either Mifflin County or Juniata County had more compelling reasons to drag their bodies to the voting booth, to shake off apathy and use their voting privilege, to engage in the twice-a-year exercise we who rightfully live in this precious republic call casting our ballots.
And who wouldn't want to? After all, Mifflin County voters get to nominate the people who will, in the fall general election, be chosen to represent them as Mifflin County Commissioners, Mifflin County School Board Members, Mifflin County Coroner and a number of other countywide offices (some county offices aren't mentioned here because, well, there is no competition for primary nomination. Some of them will face competition in the fall; some will not.). Given the intense interest in consolidating schools, closing buildings and furloughing teachers that's been happening in Mifflin County this year, there's been a lot of interest in the school board race. Yeah.
Juniata County voters face similar choices regarding county commissioners, school board members and other row officers. In addition - and this has been the hot ticket this spring in Juniata - the Juniata County School Board is asking them to either say "YES" to a request for a tax increase or - if voting "NO" - be prepared to face program cuts, staff layoffs, etc. Again, yeah, there's been a lot of interest.
So, you would expect that voters will blow the doors off the polling places on Tuesday. Clearly we don't mean that literally, but it sure would be great to see both counties set new voter turnout records. It is very possible, provided that voters are prepared.
For example, you can't vote if you're not registered. For the Spring Primary, that usually means as a Democrat or a Republican. If you are signed up as an independent or a non-affiliated, the only thing you can mark a ballot on would be that referendum in Juniata County. Most of the ballot chances will involve "major party candidates."
Signing up to vote is very easy. There's really no excuse. If you are a bona fide United States citizen and meet the age and residency requirements, the rest is a cinch. But if you aren't registered now, it's too late. The registration deadline is usually about a month before the election.
If you can't vote this Tuesday, make a commitment to register and be ready for the fall election. You can do that as early as May 18 - that's right, the day after the Primary - or as late as Oct. 11. That's a lot of time.
It's commonly said that about half of those eligible actually register to vote, and about half of those actually make it to the polls. If that's true, it means that about a quarter of U.S. adult citizens pick the people who govern everyone.
We can't understand why anyone would be comfortable with that. Get out and vote on Tuesday.