March 05, 2001 11:00 pm

Dont forget to get

those ballots in

A week remains for voters in Union and Wallowa counties to punch those chads and get their ballots back to their respective county clerks. If youve tossed your ballot aside figuring youd vote later, its time to find it and cast your vote. Our system depends on voter participation.

The March election usually doesnt feature the hotly contested races that the primary and general elections do. But they are just as important. Director positions for special districts, ranging from school to cemetery boards, are decided in March elections. The direction districts take is shaped by voters who take the time to cast their ballots.

In the La Grande School District, two school board seats are being contested. Two people will be seated on the board for four years each, deciding issues that impact every family with children.

Most of the outlying districts in Union County also have a contested race or two. The most hotly debated race in Union County, it appears, is the one in Union for the cemetery board. Its been the focus of more letters to the editor than any other race.

Wallowa County has only two contested races in this election, but voter participation is no less important.

If you set your ballot aside after it arrived, now is the time to find it, vote and get it back to the county clerk. The ballots have to be in the county clerks office by 8 p.m. next Tuesday.

The election might be low-key, but the responsibilities of the people we elect will not be. Please take the time to vote.

Sorry, King

Does Oregon need an Elvis Presley Day? Two Willamette Valley lawmakers believe it might be fun for Oregon to dedicate such a day in honor of the King of Rock n Roll.

Reps. Al King, D-Springfield, and Jeff Kropf, R-Halsey, are asking legislators to approve HJR38 to show their appreciation for Elvis. Its hard to imagine any self-respecting legislator would want to vote against Elvis, King said.

Actually, its hard to imagine that any self-respecting legislator would propose such a ridiculous bill. Elvis didnt exactly have a lot of ties to Oregon. The Grateful Deads Jerry Garcia had more, but we dont need a Garcia day, either.

King justified his silly proposal by saying every session should have some fun bills. But considering the fact that it costs about $1,000 to have legislative staff draft a bill, a little fun comes with a price.

The Legislature is faced with some important issues, none the least of which is figuring out how to address all the budget needs that exist when state revenue projections keep falling. The legislators should save their fun for their own time.