Critically important midterms deserve high voter turnout

Midterm elections tend to be under-the-radar, low-turnout events.

This year’s midterms shape up as an exception. And if they are not, it will be the fault of the voters.

Voters are going to make a decision on state and national offices and local issues.

Tuesday’s vote could determine the future form of government in the city of Williamsport as well as control of the House and Senate in Washington. That represents fundamental change as well as a verdict on the balance of power in the legislative branch of our federal government.

Also on the line are the governor’s office, U.S. Senate and House of Representatives seats as well as state assembly seats for our region.

The intrigue in the election for U.S. House representative is heightened because redistricting of the congressional map means part of the 12th Congressional District is comprised of people who did not vote for the district’s representative previously.

Voters in Williamsport have a unique opportunity – and challenge.

They are being asked to consider a change in the form of government from the existing strong mayor/council system to not one, but two possible alternatives, a council/manager or home rule system.

We wonder if that’s too confusing to encourage participation or informed voting from Williamsport residents. But we don’t wonder whether it’s important.

The Sun-Gazette has been publishing exhaustive stories explaining the decision and implications for city voters.

We hope they have been educating themselves and will make an informed choice for the good of the city’s future.

But these are hardly Williamsport-only midterm elections. There is something on the ballot for everyone.

If the turnout Tuesday is not greater than typical midterms, it will mean far too many voters have passed on an unusually important opportunity – and an obligation.