Editor, The Courier,

This summer, the League of Women Voters of Athens County (LWVAC) encourages residents to add voting to their calendars. In a special primary August 3, voters of Ohio’s 15th Congressional District will select the Republican and Democratic candidates who will run against each other in November for the U.S. House seat vacated by Rep. Steve Stivers. The 15th District includes Athens County, except for Carthage and Troy townships. Also on August 3, Ames Township residents will have the opportunity to decide two liquor license-related issues.

For a primary, voters request either a Democratic or Republican ballot. In this primary Democrats will be deciding between two candidates while Republican voters will be choosing from a list of 11 candidates. Here are some ways to learn more about these individuals and their positions. The website vote411.org will have a voter guide available in late June. On July 6, at 6 p.m, a virtual Meet the Candidates event will be streamed live on the City of Athens website and the local league’s Facebook page. Congressional candidates will have the opportunity to respond to specific questions.

If a summer trip prevents you from voting in-person August 3, you can request an absentee ballot now. Two other important dates: July 6 is the last day to register to vote in the primary and July 7 is the start of early voting. You can check online or at the Athens County Board of Elections to make sure you are registered. Details available at www.sos.state.oh.us/elections/voters/.

Think primaries are not very important? The LWVAC argues just the opposite. They are an opportunity to let your individual voice and the collective voice of Southeast Ohio be heard. One of the candidates picked in August will become your representative in Congress. You want a say on who that is.

Adriane Mohlenkamp and Ellen Gerl

Athens County

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