Although elections of- ficials in the Mahoning Valley forecast traditionally high voter turnout for Tuesday’s historic presidential election, their optimism is jaded by some disturbing observations.
Trumbull County Board of Elections Director Stephanie Penrose and Columbiana County elections board chief Adam Booth both said they believe turnout will fall short of its potential because many residents can’t stomach either major party candidate for U.S. president.
“I think people are turned off by the presidential candidates. ... I’ve heard from people who say they aren’t going to vote,” Penrose said.
Booth concurred: “People don’t like the candidates in general. People are uninterested, apathetic, don’t care and don’t like either option.”
For those harboring thoughts of boycotting the ballot box Tuesday in protest of this year’s lackluster presidential choices, here’s our strong advice: Don’t.
Voting is arguably the most important duty for citizens in a representative democracy. As Penrose put it, “It’s a shame to waste this privilege that we’re so lucky to have in this country.”
For those who’ve had it with Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, there are other alternatives. Prime among them are candidates representing the Libertarian and Green parties.
If no candidate suits your fancy for president, there is still no good reason not to go to the polls Tuesday.
Even if you choose to leave the presidential portion of the ballot blank, there are many other critical races involving candidates for local governments, important county and state judgeships, community initiatives and tax issues affecting school districts and local jurisdictions throughout the Valley.
Truth be told, the results of electing local candidates for community governments and casting ballots on local tax issues likely will wield a much heavier direct impact on voters in the Mahoning Valley than will the ultimate winner of the presidential sweepstakes.
We therefore urge residents of the Valley to cast ballots responsibly in Tuesday’s election. As usual, polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Ohio.
The Vindicator’s commitment to elections is long-standing. We spend hours in endorsement meetings with candidates for office and pore over details of many state and local ballot issues.
Based on what we learn, we issue endorsements. What follows is a summary of our recommendations for races and issues that we explained in greater detail in explanatory endorsement editorials in this space over the past three weeks:
President of the United States: Hillary Clinton, Democrat
Ohio Supreme Court, Jan. 1 term: Pat Fischer
Ohio Supreme Court, Jan. 2 term: Cynthia Rice.
U.S. Senate: Rob Portman, Republican
U.S. House of Representatives, 13th District: Tim Ryan, Democrat.
U.S. House of Representatives, 6th District: Bill Johnson, Republican.
58th Ohio House District: Corrine Sanderson, Republican.
59th Ohio House District: John Boccieri, Democrat.
63rd Ohio House District: Glenn W. Holmes, Democrat.
64th Ohio House District: Michael O’Brien, Democrat.
32nd Ohio Senate District: Sean O’Brien, Democrat.
Mahoning County commissioner, Jan. 2 term: Anthony T. Traficanti.
Mahoning County commissioner, Jan. 3 term: David C. Ditzler
Mahoning County coroner: David Kennedy, Democrat.
Mahoning County treasurer: Christine Lucarell Oliver, Republican.
Mahoning County Common Pleas Court judge: Shirley J. Christian.
Trumbull County commissioner, Jan. 2 term: Mauro Cantalamessa, Democrat.
Trumbull County commissioner, Jan. 3 term: Daniel Polivka, Democrat.
On local issues, The Vindicator once again strongly recommends a “no” vote on the anti-fracking Community Bill of Rights initiative on the Youngstown ballot. Also in the city, we urge a “no” vote on a charter amendment to broaden the rights of part-time workers .
We also endorse all property tax renewal levies for school districts in the Valley.