With Election Day fast approaching, this is a good week to dig your ballot out from under that pile of mail and fill it in.
Election Day is Nov. 5. That means ballots must be returned or postmarked by that day or they don't count.
Sure, it's an off-year election with no federal races or even much happening statewide. But even so, Mid-Colubmbia voters will make many important decisions -- from who will run our schools and towns to the information producers include on food labels.
It can be a daunting task deciding which candidates and issues deserve your support. Each election season, the Herald editorial board tries to provide information and opinions to help readers make their picks.
We interview candidates and publish our recommendations. We put a lot of hours into this endeavor. It's a long process and a thoughtful one, but it's not foolproof. And even members of our editorial board don't follow the recommendations 100 percent when it comes to marking their private ballots.
Our recommendations, as much as we value them, are just one of several tools for you to use in making your own choices.
Do we still think everyone should vote? Yes! But we emphasize that the obligation is more than just to mark a ballot. The obligation is to prepare yourself to mark a ballot.
Be an informed voter. Articles and editorials on this year's races are available online at tri-cityherald.com/election-news.
Here are our recommendations for Mid-Columbia voters.
Initiative 517 -- No
Initiative 522 -- No
8th District Senate -- Sharon Brown
State Court of Appeals -- George Fearing
Benton Fire District 1 levy lid lift -- yes
Port of Kennewick -- Tom Moak and Don Barnes
Three Rivers Convention Center expansion -- Yes
Richland School Board -- Rick Jansons and Heather Cleary
Richland City Council -- Gregory L. Jones, David Rose and Sandra Kent
Kennewick City Council -- John Hubbard, John Trumbo, Greg Jones and Don Britain
Kennewick Public Hospital District -- Wanda Briggs and Erik Malson
Kennewick School Board -- Dawn Adams
West Richland mayor -- Brent Gerry
West Richland City Council -- Johan Curtiss
Franklin Fire District 3 levy lid lift -- no
Pasco City Council -- Mike Garrison
Pasco School Board -- William Leggett, Sherry Lancon and Amy Phillips
Port of Pasco -- Jean Ryckman
Pasco Proposition 1 -- No
Pasco Proposition 2 -- No