Our Voice: Thanks to those who are willing to run for office

At the end of the election season we want to say thank you to those who care enough to run for office and are willing to put themselves through that scrutiny and rigor.

Candidates file for office, knock on doors, attend candidate forums and get in front of any audience willing to listen. It's a lot of work and a thankless job, even if you win.

We especially thank those who lose today. The system only works when people are willing to take that chance.

So, thanks.

Our other thought today: Vote. But make that an informed vote. We encourage voters to be as informed as possible as they make up their minds. Our recommendations are one of many decision-making tools.

You can read our news coverage and editorials online at tri-cityherald.com/election-news.

For an off year, this seems like an especially energized election.

More than 70 candidates are seeking office in the Mid-Columbia. That's a lot of civic interest. And there are some really interesting measures on your ballot.

For example, Initiative 522 about food labeling has been heated on both sides with both campaigns claiming science is in their corner.

The propositions in Franklin County pique our interest because they are local measures that are fairly unprecedented. The signature gatherers didn't have any trouble filling their petitions. It's hard to gauge how the community as a whole feels about de-annexation and changing the form of government. It will be interesting to find out.

Kennewick voters will decide the fate of expanding the convention center. Not very glitzy, but something that would make a difference in that community.

All in all, we're eager to see the results.

In this digital age, the county auditors have some fun stuff on their web pages while we're waiting for those results. Each one shows how many ballots have been returned with a daily count. As of noon Monday, both counties were showing around a 20 percent return rate.

If your ballot is still on the kitchen counter or the dash of your car, it's time to do something with it.

Today is Election Day.

If you mail it, be sure to pay attention to the postage requirements and get to the post office before the last collection time. If you mail it at 10 p.m., your ballot will not be counted.

Or drop it in a ballot box.

Benton County drop boxes are at the courthouse in Prosser, city hall in Benton City, city hall in West Richland, the auditor's annex at 5600 W. Canal Drive in Kennewick, city hall in Kennewick, Jefferson Park on Symons Street in Richland and the auditor's annex at 101 Wellsian Way in Richland.

Franklin County drop boxes are at the PUD shop in Connell, Franklin County Courthouse, TRAC and the Election Center at 116 N. 3rd Ave. in Pasco and Fire Protection District 3 on Road 84.

Candidates should know they have 10 days after the election to remove their signs. For anyone who helped a candidate by placing a sign, you can help them again by removing it.

Of course, after Saturday's windstorm the most effective way of collecting any signs might be to go to Finley or Burbank and pick them up from where the wind deposited them.