It’s Election Season, starting this week—and it’s going to be Election Season until right before Thanksgiving.

This week is the day for candidates for municipal office declare their candidacy, with those elections held in March around the East Mountains and Estancia Valley.

In February, there is a school district bond election for voters who live within the Moriarty-Edgewood School District.

In June, we’ll have the primary elections and the road to the mid-term Congressional elections in November.

We at The Independent plan coverage of all of these races starting this week, when we’ll let you know who formall tossed their names into the hat for town office.

We’ll be holding a town candidate forum Feb. 24 in cooperation with the Mountain View Telegraph and the Edgewood Chamber of Commerce. We may partner on other forums as well.

We believe in getting involved politically, whether that is running for office, helping with a campaign or simply casting a vote—that last one is especially important because the majority of people who are eligible to vote don’t bother most of the time, and that’s especially true in the years when the presidential election is not on the top of the ticket.

Think your vote doesn’t count? For something like a school bond, a few hundred voters will decide whether to increase property taxes district-wide.

Likewise in our small towns, the numbers of voters are counted in hundreds. We’ve had more than one election in recent years, in our area, which resulted in a tie, and were decided by who drew the high card.

Your vote and your participation matters. We invite people of all political stripes to voice your opinions in our forum. Our democracy is as strong as we choose to make it, so get out, get involved, and of course, vote. The deadline to register to vote if you want to make your voice heard in the municipal elections is a few short weeks away.