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It’s election time, Missoula. Absentee ballots were mailed on Oct. 6 and the general election takes place on Nov. 4. If you have not yet registered to vote, you can late register at the Election Center at the Missoula County Fairgrounds.

The Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce can help keep you informed on important local issues this election season. We take seriously our commitment to providing accessible and objective information, and have prepared some educational materials for the voting public.

This fall, voters choose a new Missoula County commissioner in an open-seat race. The stagnation of the County Fairgrounds has been a hot-button topic. As has been the way in which the county has handled regulatory issues with citizens. Want to know where the candidates stand? The Missoula Chamber issued a questionnaire to the candidates on these and other important issues. Review their responses by visiting our online advocacy center: missoulachamberadvocacycenter.com.

Missoula County voters will also decide whether or not to approve the 20-year, $42 million Parks and Trails bond. The Chamber has posted some insightful information on this topic on the advocacy center. You can get a closer look at the improvements the bond money will go towards, what the benefits could be to the community and how much the bond and ongoing maintenance could cost property taxpayers. The Chamber will provide similar information for other upcoming opportunities to improve public facilities as they progress.

Also posted on the advocacy center is our guide to local property tax and public debt. The guide gives users easy to follow information on property tax levels in Missoula County, recent property tax increases, and local general obligation debt.

These are important issues and this is an important election. We encourage you to review the information we have posted on the advocacy center and cast your ballot this fall.

Sam Sill is governmental affairs and community liaison at the Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce.

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