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Steve Novotney says, "It's One Week Away"

It's a constitutional right that, unfortunately, far too many fail to exercise when an election day arrives on the calendar. The government implemented early voting in an attempt to increase participation, but it only slightly did so.

If it rains on Election Day, forget about it. Cold? Not likely. Why? Because decent weather is necessary for the folks who live in the high-rise apartment buildings in Center Wheeling, the downtown district, and North Wheeling, and because inclement weather is more difficult on our older citizens than it is on those with full mobility.

I pray for sunny and 70 degrees for Tuesday, Nov. 6th, and that's because there are, in my opinion, most important decisions to make in Ohio, Marshall and Belmont counties.

  • Not only will voters in East Ohio assist with deciding who the next governor will be in the Buckeye State, those same voters will cast ballots on the decriminalization of most narcotics (Issue One), for Belmont County commissioner, and on a plethora of levy and bond issues.
  • Marshall County residents will choose a county commissioner, as well, be it the incumbent, Bob Miller, or the challenger, Mike Ferro. Miller has been on the Commission for six years, and has instigated a conversation with the White House concerning the possible extension of Interstate 68. Ferro has been a member of the W.Va. House of Delegates for the past decade, and is a long-time teacher in the county's public-school system.
  • In Ohio County, incumbent Commissioner Orphy Klempa is seeking re-election and is challenged by Republican Don Nickerson. Klempa represented most of Ohio County in both the state House of Delegates and state Senate before opting for an appointment in 2012 to the Ohio County Commission. A founding member of the Ohio County Development Authority, Klempa was elected to the position a year later. Nickerson is a local attorney who served as the city of Wheeling's municipal judge for 19 years.
  • A $22 million levy will be on the ballot for Wheeling residents and approval by voters would allow for the purchase of a new fire truck, the renovations of five fire houses, and for the construction of a $20 million Public Safety Building on the corner of 10th and Market streets where a tiered parking lot is located today. Initially announced as a $15 million project by a council member in March, the project grew when the scope of the structure was examined by the fire and police chiefs, architects and engineers.

The ballots in all three counties will feature federal races, too. Belmont County voters will cast votes in the race to represent Ohio's 6th Congressional District (Republican Rep. Bill Johnson vs. Democrat Shawna Roberts), and for U.S. Senator (Democratic Sen. Sherrard Brown vs. Republican Renacci).

In Ohio and Marshall counties, incumbent Rep. David McKinley is challenged by Democrat Kendra Fershee, and Republican W.Va. Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is attempting to unseat incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin.

Voter turnout for midterm election days is traditionally lower than general elections (58 percent in 2016 and 37 percent in 2014), but with these races and issues at stake, it's my hope more Americans will be more American this time around.