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Election season is about to kick off

As I touched on last week, the election season is upon us.

We’ve heard of a few local individuals interested in seeking office, including in the Legislature and on the county levels. There also, of course, is a group of candidates with their eyes on becoming the state’s next governor.

You may have read Steven Allen Adams’ piece on today’s front page looking at the campaign finance reports from those gubernatorial candidates, giving us a look at how fundraising is going for those wanting to occupy the Mountain State’s top executive office.

With all that in mind, the official filing for the May primary election in West Virginia gets under way in less than 24 hours, and it will be interesting to see what names wind up on the ballot once this phase of the election is completed later this month.

No matter who is in office, we will hear complaints from someone as to whether the work being done is adequate or taking us in the proper direction. Especially these days, when letting the world learn your thoughts takes only a computer or a mobile device of some kind, everyone sees themselves as an expert in how to lead.

Most of them never do anything beyond putting their opinions into cyberspace, although a few actually take the time to try and walk the walk in addition to talking the talk. Even fewer make it to a position where they can work to put their opinions into action.

The filing period begins Monday, and will last until midnight on Jan. 25. That gives almost two weeks for those interested to obtain and complete the necessary paperwork and file it with the appropriate office.

Running for election is a difficult, and often expensive, process. However, with the various offices set to go on the ballot, there are opportunities available for anyone with the desire to make a difference. Instead of sitting at the keyboard, you can get on the front lines and show your leadership skills to the county, state or nation.

Filing for statewide offices must go through the Secretary of State’s Office, either in person at one of their office locations or online. For more local spots, visit your County Clerk’s Office.

Let’s see who is willing to step up this year.

In addition to filing for office, this also should be a reminder to check with your County Clerk’s Office to make certain your voter registration information is up to date.

If you’ve moved in recent years and not changed that information, your vote might not be counted. If you haven’t voted in several years, then you might not be on your county’s voter roll at all, as there have been efforts in the last few years to clean up files with the goal of cutting down on voter fraud possibilities.

Elections are an important part of our society, and we should make certain our files are accurate so our votes can be counted.

Remember, we are Americans first. It doesn’t matter if your are Democrat, Republican, independent or something else. What matters is that we are responsible and participate in this process. We run for office, if we are so inclined, to try and get our vision into the forefront of our society. We keep our voter records up to date, and cast our ballots when the time comes to make our voices heard.

The time is now, and the days are counting down faster than you think.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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