MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

January 11, 2014

Do your part and get out to vote


— Tuesday’s election is an historic one for Muskogee voters.

It will be our first election with strictly ward voting, making this the first election in Muskogee history where city council members truly will be representatives of their wards, elected only by those who live in those wards.

Muskogee citizens voted two years ago to change the city charter to remove city-wide council elections, and this will be the first election where we’ll see the results.

Former Mayor John Tyler Hammons, who  tried in 2009 to end at-large elections for ward representatives, told the Phoenix in today’s Sunday Extra that Muskogee voters will “have the opportunity to elect the person of their choice” to represent their respective wards. Hammons said voters, as a result, “can hold their ward representatives more accountable.”

We agree.

And now, it is up to you.

We hope ward voting encourages voter participation.

Less than 12 percent of registered voters cast a ballot in the last city council election.

Get out and vote. Do your research. The Phoenix has written how each candidate stands on the issues. Read how they participated in the community forums.

Who has been working to make the city better before they ran? That’s one of the things you should consider.

Ask yourself who answered questions with solutions as opposed to generalities.

Regardless of your decision, Muskogee needs a larger turnout.

This is an opportunity to make your voice heard, and you need to take advantage of your opportunity.