With qualifying over, elections truly get underway

Published 9:49 pm Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Qualifying for the August 23 municipal elections is now over, meaning the real campaigning is about to begin in Selma, Valley Grande and Orrville.

The community should be proud to have so many strong candidates that care enough about Selma and Dallas County’s future to run for political office in the face of all of the scrutiny that can come along with that decision. There will be several political veterans on the ballot, but also plenty of newcomers who are running for office for the first time.

It’s always a positive to have numerous candidates to choose from and different opinions involved in an election. The candidates will get chances to share their opinions in the upcoming month, but now it’s on the shoulders of voters to educate themselves and make the decision they believe is best for their city’s future.

The first step is to make sure voters have a voice in the election by registering to vote. The last day to register to vote in the election is Aug. 8, which is 15 days prior to the election, meaning there’s plenty of time left to get signed up. Another important date is the absentee ballot deadline, which falls on Aug. 18.

There is never a reason for there to be a low voter turnout anywhere, but especially in Selma, where the voting rights movement is such a large part of our city’s history.

Given the passion shown on social media as people discuss the race and support their candidates, we don’t think low voter turnout should be a problem next month.  Until then, we encourage voters to do their research on candidates so that they can make an informed decision at the polls.