MANSFIELD -- Election Day is still just over a month away. But if you want to participate in our democracy on Nov. 5, Monday is a big day.
That's because Monday is the deadline to register to vote in the State of Ohio. And it's also the next-to-last Richland Source "Talk the Vote," the listening tour Richland Source is conducting throughout the city's six wards.
On Monday, the Richland County Board of Elections office will be open until 9 p.m. to give residents an extended opportunity to register or change your address and/or name in the voter registration database.
The BOE office is at 1495 W. Longview Ave., Suite 101, in the Longview Center. After 4 p.m., residents must use the entrance at the lower lever back parking area at the southwest corner of the building.
Early voting begins on Tuesday.
Our unique "Talk the Vote" is the first time we have attempted this unique format, sessions led primarily by local residents/voters with a only a bit of Richland Source moderation.
Our first session was on Sept. 9 at Mansfield Christian School in the 1st Ward. We were at Source Publisher Jay Allred's house in the 2nd Ward on Sept. 16. We spent the hour Sept. 23 at Theatre 166 in the 3rd Ward and then hosted the 4th Ward session Sept. 30 at Richland Source.
Our next session will be Monday from 6 to 7 p.m. in the 5th Ward at the North End Community Improvement Collaborative, 134 N. Main St.
Each session has been attended by numerous city of Mansfield elected officials and candidates, both Republicans and Democrats.
To their credit, they have all done a great job of just listening since they have a non-speaking role in these meetings. We've also invited the Board of Elections to demonstrate the new voting machines that will be in use for the upcoming election.
We limit these evening discussions to an hour. These are designed to be smaller, more intimate gatherings, during which residents/voters should feel comfortable asking questions and sharing what they believe should be public priorities in the next term.
The primary question we are asking is: "What do you want candidates to be talking about during this election season as they campaign for your votes?"
Our goal in these discussions is twofold: One, to collect questions and discussion topics for the Mansfield Mayoral Debate hosted in part by Richland Source on Oct. 17.
The second goal is to create what we're calling "The People's Agenda," which we will publish on Nov. 6. We will compile what we heard from Mansfield residents about their top priorities for their newly-elected government officials, and send those priorities directly to the new mayor and city council.
Space will be limited, so make sure to reserve your seat today.
If you have questions about any of the events, contact Brittany Schock via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 419-989-6534.