From the publisher

Elections shape our future - do your part

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Vote.

Make your voice heard.

Participate in democracy.

In recent years, election officials have made it easier and easier to vote. Early voting, mail voting, convenience centers and other improvements demonstrate that municipalities recognize the busy nature of American life in the 21st Century.

Tuesday, Nov. 2, is official Election Day here in Doña Ana County, but early voting is going on now and will continue through Saturday, Oct. 30.

You can vote 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Doña Ana County Government Center, 845 N. Motel Blvd. through Election Day. Early voting can be done 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at the following locations: Anthony City Hall, Hatch High School, Doña Ana Community College in Sunland Park, Sonoma Elementary School in Las Cruces, Delores C. Wright Educational Center in Chaparral, Las Cruces City Hall, New Mexico State University Corbett Center in Las Cruces and Mesilla Town Hall.

Even if you’re not yet registered to vote, you may register during the early voting period, which lasts until Oct. 30, at the above locations. Then you can vote the same day.

What are you voting for?

If you live in Las Cruces or Mesilla, you’ll be voting city councilors or town trustees, as well as school board members, a Las Cruces Public Schools bond and a school mill levy. There are other races in Hatch and Sunland Park. And there are races for the often overlooked Soil and Water Conservation District representatives. It’s not a glamorous position, but the importance is right there in the name. Where would we all be without safe and available soil and water?

In Las Cruces, there are contested races for Council districts 3, 5 and 6. In districts 3 and 5, there are more than two candidates, so ranked choice voting will be in place. There has been a lot of confusion and misrepresentation about ranked choice voting but, in my opinion, it’s been way overstated. Just do exactly what it says: rank your votes by choice. Put your No. 1 choice in the No. 1 slot, your No. 2 choice in the No. 2 slot, etc. Some people have tried to attach ulterior motives to it, or to apply strange strategies on how to rank the candidates, or to only vote for one. The best way to have your voice heard, though, is just to rank them in order.

If you want to acquaint yourself with candidates or issues, you can find articles about all of them in recent issues of the Bulletin, found online at www.lascrucesbulletin.com. Click the EEDITION and peruse recent issues. And if you click on SPECIAL SECTIONS, and scroll down to VOTERS GUIDE, you can look at the League of Women Voters Guide, which includes candidates’ comments in their own words.

For Las Cruces, the City Council is guaranteed to have at least two new members. The incumbents in districts 3 and 5 – Gabe Vasquez and Gill Sorg – are not running for re-election. In District 6, challenger Bill Beerman is taking on incumbent Yvonne Flores.

As of this publication, you have about 11 days to make your decisions.

The most important decision you will make, however, is the decision to go cast your vote.