One of the best opportunities that we have to let our voices be heard is by participating in the right to vote.
The deadline to do just that is fast approaching.
All ballots for the May special election must be returned by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19. With this being a vote-by-mail election in Oregon, it is important to remember that ballots must reach the county clerk's office or one of the county elections drop sites by 8 p.m. Tuesday -- postmarks do not count.
It is recommended by many elections officials that if you can't get your ballot in the mail before Friday, that you hand deliver it to either the Polk County clerk's office in downtown Dallas or drop it off in person at one of the county-approved drop sites listed below.
Granted, this election isn't as exciting as the November general election. Nonetheless, it remains an important election on a number of local fronts.
Positions on all of Polk County's school boards are at stake. In Dallas, three seats are up for grabs and each is a contested race. One, Position 1, has three candidates. Five seats on the Central School Board are up for election. Two are uncontested, but the other three have at least two candidates. Perrydale also has a contested school board race for Position 1.
Don't forget to vote ... and don't forget to return those ballots in time to be counted.
POLK COUNTY BALLOT DROP SITES
* Polk County Courthouse, Clerk's Office, 850 Main St., Dallas. Open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; open election day 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.; a 24-hour drop site is located on the east side of the Polk County Courthouse.
* Roth's Fresh Market No. 12, 1130 Wallace Road NW, West Salem. Open daily 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; open election day 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
* Monmouth Public Library, 168 S. Ecols St., Monmouth. Open Tuesday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; open Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; open Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; open election day 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
* Independence City Hall, 240 Monmouth St., Independence. Open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; open election day 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
* Western Oregon University, Werner University Center, 345 N. Monmouth Ave., Monmouth. Open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; open election day 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
* Wagner Community Library, 111 N. Main St., Falls City. Open Monday 2 to 7 p.m.; open Tuesday and Thursday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; open Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; open election day 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.