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By Staff | Feb 3, 2016

Candidates and elections are in the news this week because of the Iowa caucuses and the upcoming New Hampshire presidential primary.

Locally, it is no different, as the candidate filing period for state and most local offices ended Saturday. The primary election is slated for May 10. Several countywide office primaries are contested.

Sistersville’s municipal election is slated for March 24. Unless write-in candidates emerge, the city’s mayoral race and council seats for four wards are uncontested.

Paden City’s candidate filing period began Tuesday and ends April 8 for the June 2 election. Three council seats and the mayor’s office are up for election.

Applause should be given to citizens who put themselves on the line pursuing elected office. Many candidates spend a lot of time going door-to-door, introducing themselves to the public and presenting their ideas for what they would do if elected. These proposed policies and personalities are a glimpse of the future.

Voters too have an opportunity to make their voices heard. Traditionally, there is low voter turnout in local and primary elections – even during years with presidential elections. Optimistically, this may change because multiple candidates are running at the top of the ballot for national and statewide races.

Democracy is best served when citizens become more informed about the issues and candidates, and take the time to cast their votes. As President John Quincy Adams once said, “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”