Our Viewpoint

Staying informed by getting involved


Several times during the week, I check the county website to see if new candidates have filed for local elections. This year we are electing several county and state officials, as well as school board members and special district representatives.

Very few open positions thus far are uncontested. We have five candidates to file so far for county sheriff, and each of the two open county commissioner positions have two candidates, with the filing deadline still a few weeks away.

It makes me optimistic that so many people are filing for positions. Having more choices isn't a bad thing. Often times, positions are uncontested and it feels like people don't pay that much attention. But in 2020, we had higher voter turnout in Sanders County than ever before. There was a presidential election on the ballot with the local races, but it was still encouraging to see people get involved.

Sanders County Ledger canvas prints

As a journalist, I attend many city, county and regional meetings in order to keep myself informed and to help inform readers. Many of those meetings are sparsely attended, but we have seen a shift in recent years as more people become involved and attend public meetings to learn what is happening in their communities. Not everyone agrees and I'm sure it makes decision making tougher for officials. However, we elect people to represent the voters and residents, and our elected officials need to hear from the public. We put our trust in these officials to make the right decisions for our communities.

This spring, we'll be providing readers with candidate profiles and sponsoring candidate forums to help inform readers ahead of the elections. Take those opportunities to get to know your candidates. The people elected will be representing you, so it's important for your voices to be heard. As always, we welcome letters to the editor on a variety of topics, including elections. It's part of our responsibility in sharing information and providing a space for discussion.

— Annie Wooden


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