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Our view: VOTE! PLEASE!

Nate Beeler / Cagle Cartoons

This one actually means more.

While all elections are important — they determine who'll lead us, who'll make decisions on our behalf, and who'll shape our communities and nation in the ways we want — elections that pick local leaders have the most and most-direct impact.

So, no, there's no president to vote for today — or governor or congressional member or even statewide officeholder. But don't let the lack of races that tend to drive voter turnout cause apathy. The elections today for Duluth School Board and Duluth City Council are as close to home as your tax bill, the safety of your neighborhood, and the direction and success of our city and region.

The headline on this editorial couldn't have been printed largely enough: Vote. Please. Just vote. Learn about the candidates and issues — there's still time; there's always time for that — and then get to your polling place and make your voice heard. Exercise your right. Fulfill your civic duty.

This isn't only a privilege and an opportunity, it's your obligation and responsibility as a citizen and as a member of this community.

Despite this election's importance, voter turnout is expected to be low. That means every ballot cast will be that much more impactful. Don't let others make the decisions for you. Duluth can't afford to sit this one out. That's not us. It can't be today.

Who's running?

For City Council At Large, incumbents Zack Filipovich and Barb Russ are on the ballot with Janet Kennedy and Rich Updegrove for two open seats. In City Council District 2, in eastern Duluth, incumbent Joel Sipress is being challenged by Ryan Sistad. And in City Council District 4, which includes Duluth Heights, Piedmont Heights, Lincoln Park and parts of West Duluth, Renee Van Nett is challenging incumbent Howie Hanson.

For School Board At Large, incumbent Harry Welty is on the ballot with Josh Gorham, Dana Krivogorsky, and Sally Trnka for two open seats. In School Board District 1, in eastern Duluth, incumbent Rosie Loeffler-Kemp is being challenged by Kurt Kuehn. And in School Board District 4, in western Duluth, Jill Lofald is challenging incumbent Art Johnston.

There's also a question on today's ballot, asking whether Duluth voters support a half-percent sales tax to fund fixing streets.

Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you don't know where your polling place is, find out at pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us/.

This is an important moment for Duluth. It's an important vote — more important even, and in many ways, than when there are presidential, gubernatorial, and other higher-profile races.

So don't ignore it. Be one of those who shows up — who decides. Today's election is an opportunity not to be missed and an obligation ignored at our own peril.

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