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Our View: November comes early this year

Nevada County stands out for voters doing their civic duty.

Only Marin and tiny Sierra County outpoint us for registration among those eligible, and we can be counted on to cast our ballots in similarly high percentage after going through the effort of registering.

The vast bulk of voters here hardly need reminding about the primary Tuesday. They know how important it is, with key local offices and measures at stake, along with the rest of the ballot. As one of The Union’s editorial board members put it, “November comes early this year.”



Sure, Donald Trump already is a lock as the GOP presidential nominee. Hillary Clinton probably will win enough delegates before California’s polls close to secure her nomination by the Democrats. But perhaps there’s a little bit of excitement if the surging Bernie Sanders wins California to prolong their party’s pain.

Nearly three dozen candidates for the Senate appear on the ballot, the top two vote-getters advancing to the general election the first Tuesday of November. Whew. A mere seven seek the U.S. House seat representing Nevada County.




At the other end of the spectrum, state Assemblyman Brian Dahle, R-Bieber, has only a late-comer write-in rival. The Nevada City Council managed to attract only three for its three open seats.

We’re a little better at voting than running for certain offices, it appears. You’d think with the interest in Measure Y that would regulate short-term rentals more tightly there’d be more folks stepping up to lead the community through the council.

At least most of the county supervisor races are contested. Good thing, as this might be the most consequential of positions, at least on a day-to-day level, for Nevada County’s residents.

Take the ordinance banning outdoor marijuana grows, and the subsequent Measure W to make changing the ordinance a decision to settle by referendum, sort of. Voting against the measure won’t lift the ban. Some future Board of Supervisors would have to do that. The current supervisors and other proponents view the measure as some extra cement on their decision, as well as a declaration of feeling about the half-century-old local marijuana culture, if you will.

It may not be coincidental that registered Democrats slightly outnumber registered Republicans in time for this primary election. Measure W may well have inspired people who otherwise wouldn’t bother to vote this time.

If so, since Our Views are expressions of moral philosophy — what ought and what ought not to do — we’ll suggest voting should extend beyond single issues.

This is a duty of democracy, or as constitutionalists tend to correct us, of our democratic republic. We do have an obligation to society, our way of life and all those who came before and will come after us, to study up and vote. Yes, sorry, there is an “eat your peas” aspect to being a citizen. Maybe we’d be more pleased with our choices for president, say, if so many of us across the country weren’t ducking this responsibility.

Nevada County understands this fundamental of citizenship better than nearly every other county in California, and indeed America.

It’s something to take pride in. And you know, there is plenty of power in one vote. Sometimes just one can tip the scales. But always, each “one” adds up in a hurry.

So please, study up and cast your vote. It’s good for us as a society.

The weekly Our View column represents the consensus opinion of The Union Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at EditBoard@TheUnion.com.


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