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Traditionally, city council and school board elections in the Pocatello area have suffered from abysmal voter turnout.

But all indications are that this election day will be different and it’s perhaps an indication of the important issues facing Southeast Idaho, especially Pocatello and Chubbuck.

There are a total of 18 candidates running for the Pocatello City Council, Chubbuck City Council and Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 Board of Trustees.

That many folks throwing their proverbial hats into the ring to run for political office is evidence of all that’s at stake today in terms of charting our region’s future course.

Pocatello and Chubbuck are currently poised for massive growth with developers wanting to build hundreds if not thousands of homes here in the coming years.

Our local officials are hard at work trying to attract big companies that will provide the good-paying jobs that our area lacks.

How we as a region proceed in terms of attracting and integrating all of this future growth is a huge issue this election.

Local government spending is another.

In Chubbuck, there are the ambitious plans for a new City Hall and police and fire stations and the city’s unique way of paying for those projects, while Pocatello voters will certainly be thinking about how their city government has been budgeting their tax dollars as they cast ballots.

The School District 25 school board races will certainly determine the future direction of the district on a variety of fronts.

There are also numerous candidates running for city council and school board posts in rural Bannock and Power counties.

In every race that’s on your election ballot, you’ll be asked to support the status quo or take a chance on someone pushing new ideas for the future.

It was encouraging to hear from local election officials that they expect a big turnout because the issues facing all of our city councils and school boards here in Southeast Idaho are big and deserve everyone’s input.

The best way to do that is to show up to vote on election day.

The polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and you absolutely need to show up and make your voice heard.

Our region’s future is depending on it.