MISSOURIANS will be presented with an opportunity Tuesday to decide the nominees for important offices and several proposals that will affect local communities or the entire state.
Sadly, a lot of people will not vote, relying on others to decide for them.
Missouri Secretary of State records indicate that fewer than 440,000 people cast ballots in the Aug. 5, 2014, primary election -- about 10 percent of total registered voters.
At the top of the ballot will be the party nominations for U.S. Senate. Seven Democrats, 11 Republicans, one Libertarian and two Green Party candidates are seeking to move on to the November general election. Voters also will decide which nominees for the U.S. House will advance.
The Missouri auditor race is the lone state officeholder elected this year.
Legislative races are crowded, with four Republicans vying to fill the 18th District Senate seat. Rep. Lindell Shumake, Rep. Craig Redmon, Cindy O'Laughlin and Rep. Nate Walker are the candidates.
Four Republicans also are seeking the party's nomination in the 5th District House race. Neal Minor, Louis Riggs, Loren Graham and John Paul Tomko are running.
A statewide vote on Proposition A also will determine whether a "right-to-work" bill passed by the General Assembly and signed by then Gov. Eric Greitens in 2017 will become law. Proponents say the passage would let workers decide whether to support a union. Opponents say it would allow nonmembers to benefit from union representation without paying dues.
Hannibal voters also will see a local Proposition A that asks whether the Hannibal Board of Public Works should sell up to $17.5 million in bonds to pay for a drinking water purification system to seek a different way of purifying the city water. A class-action lawsuit concerning the water has been working its way through the courts for more than two years.
Shelby County residents will decide whether to release some of the students now attending Shelby County R-4 School District to attend Macon County R-1 School District.
Other issues and candidate races will be on ballots.
Voting is a fundamental constitutional right, all too rare throughout the world, but it must be exercised to do any good.
Northeast Missouri residents are urged to vote and assert ownership in local, state and federal government.