Elections always are important

Those registered voters who went to the polls on Tuesday in Chester made a difference in the running of their city.

Challenger Larry Forsythe unseated longtime incumbent Ken Morris by 49 votes in a five-person race for mayor. And two new councilmen – Bradley Anderson in Ward 1 and Ed Beaumont in Ward 4 – were elected, defeating incumbents Dennis Murray (Ward 1) and Brian Handley (Ward 4).

We congratulate those newly-elected for feeling the need to be a part of governing the city and its future, and we thank those who will be leaving their positions for their willingness to hold public office.

Having a position of leadership within one’s community is not an easy task. The public body is not always kind. You are held to a higher standard, and we commend those willing to accept what comes with the job.

We also applaud those who took part in the Election Day process, but, by our unofficial count, that amounted to a mere 484 registered voters – based on those who cast a vote in the mayoral race.

That small figure tells us only 37.5 percent of Chester’s registered voters cared to take a small amount of their day and cast a ballot for the leadership of this Hancock County city.

That’s sad. But, unfortunately, we’ve also seen that occur in other communities during elections, on both sides of the Ohio River. Some people just really don’t seem to care.

We hear complaints from community members all the time about changes they’d like to see in their neighborhoods, their cities, their towns. They tell us roads need repaired, dilapidated structures need torn down, there are no jobs, and new businesses are needed.

We agree.

But, we believe, that starts with who is leading our communities, and our leaders are elected – by the people. But the people don’t seem to want to be part of the process other than to issue the complaints.

We want to urge more residents of Hancock and Columbiana counties to become involved during elections. Cast that ballot. Register to vote. Make a difference.

We believe those elected Tuesday will do a good job – we’ve heard nothing that would lead us to believe otherwise. Again, we congratulate them.

We would just like to see more voters taking part in their patriotic duty.