Monday, Oct. 10, is the last day to register to vote for the 2016 general election on Tuesday, Nov. 4.
The presidential election is a four-way race between Democrat Hillary Clinton, Republican Donald Trump, Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Jill Stein, just on the off-chance you haven’t picked up a newspaper, watched television, checked your smartphone, listened to the radio, visited neighbors or heard people screaming in the street over the last six months.
Whoever wins, the world will end, just ask the people terrified of their candidate losing. But don’t allow the vitriol at the top of the ticket keep you away from the polls. You can vote your conscience, vote the odds, vote for, vote against or even leave the box blank.
However, there are a host of other reasons to register.
Arizona voters will decide whether to reelect U.S. Sen. John McCain [R] or replace him with challenger U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick [D] or Gary Swing [G].
Five candidates, Democrats Tom Chabin and William Mundell and Republicans Robert Burns, Boyd Dunn and Andy Tobin are running for three seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission, which, among other duties, decides rates utility companies can charge their customers.
Former Jerome Mayor Nikki Bagley is challenging incumbent Sylvia Allen for a seat in the Arizona State Senate. Alex Martinez is challenging Brenda Barton and Bob Thorpe for two seats in the Arizona State House. These individuals will decide state laws and most importantly, education funding, which is ranked 48th in the nation.
Numerous judges are up for retention or rejection, depending on how we voters feel they have served or failed to serve the public good on the bench.
Two ballot propositions are also up for a decision in November.
Proposition 205 would legalize and regulate the sale and use of recreational marijuana for adults over age 21, and collect tax revenue.
Proposition 206 would raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour in 2017, then incrementally to $12 by 2020 and create the right for employees to be paid sick time.
While the Sedona City Council and Yavapai County Board of Supervisors elections were decided in August, the Sedona-Oak Creek School District Governing Board vote is also set for Nov. 8. Larry Garnello, Randy Hawley, Heather Hermen and Karl Wiseman are running for three open seats. If for no other reason, register to vote to decide who will look after our schools and Sedona’s children.
You can register to vote online in less than five minutes under the “Voter Registration” link on ServiceArizona.com. Have your driver’s license or Social Security card handy to complete the process.
Voting is the civic duty of every citizen in a democracy. There are millions of people around the world who have no voice in their government but fight — and sometimes die — just for the simple right to vote. Every vote counts. Numerous issues in the county and the Sedona area are decided by just a handful of votes. Make yours matter.