Exercise your right: Register to vote

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Tribune editorial staff

With several key contests on the ballot in November, voters have a chance to play a crucial role in how local government pans out in coming years.

Voters in Ironton, Coal Grove, South Point, Chesapeake, Proctorville and Hanging Rock will elect a mayor. In addition, several council, township trustee and school board seats in the county are up for grabs.

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But to participate in November's general election, you must be registered to vote, and the deadline to do so is sneaking up on us. All valid voter registration forms must be postmarked 30 days before the election, which is Oct. 6 for the Nov. 4 election.

Individuals who have yet to register to vote in this November’s election can pick up a voter registration form at

the county board of elections office, the county treasurer’s office, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, public schools and libraries.

To be eligible to vote, individuals must be U.S. citizens, at least 18 years old on or before election day, a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days prior to an election and a registered voter within the county of residence. Once a voter is registered, he or she only has to vote in at least one general election every four years to keep his or her registration valid.

If you are registered but are unable to go to the polls, you can still have a voice. Registered voters may vote by absentee ballot if they will be away on election day, have a personal illness or physical disability or meet certain other specific criteria. Registered voters in the U.S. armed forces on active duty outside the state may vote by armed services absentee ballot.

Voting is a key to our democracy. As American citizens, we have the right to choose who represents us on the local, state and national level.

Don't miss the opportunity to take part in electing your leaders. After all, those who choose not vote have no right to complain about who is leading their city, county, township or school.