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Make voice heard by voting

Maybe we’re eternal optimists, but we keep thinking that the day will come when all qualified voters turn out to vote in a local election. Sure, we know that this is probably impossible, but we like to consider the possibility. It’s a little sad to think that people are more interested in what their friends are posting on social media sites than they are in who is going to represent them on city council and school board.

We realize that those social media sites are filled with juicy gossip and interesting tidbits about friends and family, but what goes on at city hall or in the school administration building has a direct impact on you and your pocketbook.

The people elected on May 11 — the uniform date for city and school elections — will be representing you, which means that you are giving them authority to decide where and how to spend your tax dollars.

We’ve always found it interesting that just about everyone we know complains about paying taxes and, yet, a lot of them fail to vote. That just doesn’t make any sense.

If you owned a business, you would probably want input on how your budget was spent — you wouldn’t allow someone else to make major financial decisions. So, why aren’t you interested in who is going to be in charge of spending your city and school taxes?

Why not get involved in local government by registering to vote and making your opinion count on election day? If you’re not a registered voter, there’s still time to sign up, but you need to hurry.

Your application must be received or postmarked a full 30 days before an election for you to be eligible to vote, according to information on the Texas Secretary of State’s website, and since the deadline to register is Thursday, you may want to take care of the paperwork in person. You can pick up an application, fill it out and turn it in at the Denton County Elections Administration office at 701 Kimberly Drive, Suite A101, or call the office at 940-349-3200 if you have questions.

You can also find voter registration applications at many libraries, government offices or high schools, but don’t forget Thursday’s deadline.

Early voting for the May 11 election will begin on April 29, so once you are officially registered, you’ll have time to research the candidates so you can make an informed decision.

Denton voters will have several opportunities to hear city and school district hopefuls respond to questions during upcoming candidate forums.

At 7 p.m. Monday, the Denton Firefighters Association will host a forum in the community room at the Central Fire Station for City Council candidates. While the forum is open to the public, the association often endorses candidates after its forum.

The Denton Neighborhood Alliance will host a public forum for City Council candidates from 7 to 9 p.m. on April 18 in the council chambers at City Hall, 215 E. McKinney St.

The Denton Kiwanis Club will host a candidate forum for City Council candidates at noon April 17 and Denton school board candidates at noon April 24. Both the council and school board forums will take place at the First Baptist Church of Denton fellowship hall, 1100 Malone St., with lunch being served at about 11:45 a.m.

Those interested in attending the Denton Kiwanis Club candidate forums are asked to make a reservation by calling 940-387-6323.

On April 25, the local chapter of the League of Women Voters is scheduled to host its annual candidate forum in the City Council chambers. Details about the event are forthcoming.

There’s a lot riding on the May 11 city and school elections, so why not be a part of the process?

If you aren’t registered to vote, do it now, before Thursday’s deadline.

Don’t let others make important decisions for you.