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Editorial: Lines won't be long

If you’re one of the eligible voters who’ll cast ballots in today’s municipal elections, congratulations on exercising your rights and responsibilities as a citizen.
If you’re not planning on going to the polls in the nine Rowan County cities and towns where council and board seats are up for grabs, then you’d better hope your fellow voting citizens make wise decisions in your behalf. In today’s elections, a relative handful of voters will determine the outcome.
Off-year municipal elections typically draw low turnouts, and this year is likely to be no exception. The turnout two years ago was only 10.97 percent of eligible voters, down from about 15 percent in 2007. (Contrast that with the better than 68 percent of voters who turned out in 2008, a presidential election year.) Low turnout amplifies the impact of each ballot, meaning each voter, in effect, wields the electoral power of several citizens.
Yet, while municipal elections typically don’t attract as much attention as nationwide, statewide or even countywide contests, they have a greater impact on our community than the higher profile jousts that incite heated debate and draw more people to the polls. Municipal elections are about potholes and property taxes, garbage collection and water rates. They hit us where we live.
The polls are open today from 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. If you’re not going to vote, maybe you can at least drop by and thank other citizens for making these decisions for you.

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