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Take time to vote during war

With coverage of the war presently dominating almost every network television channel, it’s difficult for Americans to concentrate on anything else. While it is important for Americans to be aware of what is going on with the nation’s military efforts internationally, they should also pay attention to what’s going on closer to home.

Tampa’s mayoral race ends Tuesday, and voters should make time to vote for the candidate they think should win, regardless of the war. In the primaries, only one-third of eligible voters participated, and even fewer people are expected to turn out for the final vote.

If all goes as expected, this war will be short-lived, but whoever becomes the next mayor will be making decisions for Tampa residents for the next four years. Pam Iorio won the primary elections with 46 percent of the vote, while Frank Sanchez had 21 percent. Because not much attention is being paid to their campaign efforts in this final stretch before elections, it looks as if many voters’ choices have stayed the same. However, no matter which candidate a resident prefers, the war coverage shouldn’t make them forget about other important matters.

Tampa’s mayor will make decisions about the city’s transportation and budget that will affect residents more directly than what happens in Iraq each day. Tampa residents should keep this in mind, and, on Tuesday, take the time to vote.

The war will still be going Wednesday, and people can tune back into the moment-by-moment coverage after the elections. Until then, Tampa voters could take this day as their last chance to become informed about the mayoral candidates and vote for which one they want running the city.