Don’t be fooled; Voting has never been more vital

Democracy does not get more direct and precious than this Tuesday.

To begin with, there’s an election. And you should always vote, given the sacrifices that are at the root of our right to cast a ballot.

But Tuesday’s Primary Election represents the most local of elections. The offices up for grabs will be occupied by the neighbors of the voters.

There is arguably no greater power for voters than that symbolized by Tuesday’s Primary Election. Voters are casting ballots on who will make decisions regarding local issues, law enforcement in municipalities, school districts and county offices in our region.

At stake most visibly in Lycoming County is a judge’s seat.

Throughout the county, there are school board, borough council and township supervisor seats, not to mention county sheriff and City Council posts.

In coming years, those elected to these offices will make decisions about school buildings, realignment of schools, police force sizes, fire equipment purchases, road and bridge work and budgets and taxes.

The temptation is to say Tuesday’s election is just a preliminary contest deciding party nominations for the offices at stake.

But the political reality in many of these races is that whoever wins the party nomination is likely to win office in November, perhaps even going uncontested in the fall General Election. And in races in which candidates may cross-file, there is a strong possibility for the races to be virtually decided with both party nominations on Tuesday.

So please, don’t make excuses. And don’t try to convince yourself it does not matter whether you vote Tuesday.

You need to cast a ballot and decide how public decisions are made in your neighborhood. And, yes, it is more important than ever.