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EDITORIAL:Make sure your voice is heard on election day

March 31, 2007

For weeks, City Council candidates have done a lot of talking — and we thank them for a full and lively debate.

But by Tuesday, the season of campaign mailers, endorsements, precinct walks, phone banks and forums will be over.

And only one voice will matter: yours, as a Burbank voter.

That's the most important one, and it is vital to this city's future that it is heard loud and clear on Tuesday.

With that voice, the opportunity remains to weave through the campaign rhetoric and spin to make a choice on who should lead this city.

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Not embracing that chance would be to throw away a most essential right, cherished in other parts of the world, where many have died to get to the ballot box.

How lucky we are that we won't face the threat of land mines on the way to our local polling station as we vote on Tuesday. Then again, many of our bravest citizens have died to preserve that kind of peace and freedom.

But democracy is a fragile thing.

Even without the threat of violence at the polls, we still face threats.

Apathy, cynicism and lack of interest can all go into a mix that creates low voter turnout and hence, represent a boon for special interests. Those interests bankroll campaigns — and they vote.

They are the ones that win when nobody else votes. And it's the government that is accessible to all, and which works for the good of all, that loses.

There's too much at stake in this election to let apathy erode your opportunity to make choices on which of the candidates will help run this city.

Whoever is elected to the two vacant council seats will be in a position to make decisions about the city's future development, parking issues and many more issues.

But beyond the issues we want our elected leaders to tackle, consider that the people we elect to run the show will be the ones cutting the ribbons at new business openings; one eventually will be your mayor, representing your city to the rest of the world; they will be the ones you bring your civic grievances to.

You are paying your hard-earned taxpayer money for them to represent this city and to listen to you.

Why not make sure the right politician is listening.

"Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote," said late drama critic George Jean Nathan said.

Amen.

That's reason enough to cram a little and make an informed vote.

There's too much at stake to not make sure that your voice is heard, loud and clear.

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