March 22.

If you are a Clinton resident, mark that date on your calendar.

On that day, polls will be opened for a special election to fill the vacant at-large council seat that had been filled by Grant Wilke up until his resignation at the end of 2015.

That resignation came at the midpoint of Wilke’s 4-year term. When that resignation came in, the City Council voted to fill the seat by appointing Sean Connell. A petition process, however, led to the calling of a special election that will feature four candidates – Connell, Scott Bengtson, April Diss and Brian Tugana.

There is an estimated $8,000 cost to have this special election, which some residents have said is an amount the city cannot afford. The possibility of a run-off election, which would happen if no candidate generates more than 50 percent plus one of the vote total, means filling the spot could end up costing the city double.

Our hope is that the March 22 voter turnout comes in far greater than it normally does for a city election. City elections typically see a voter turnout of anywhere from 16 to 20 percent on average, which Clinton County Auditor Eric Van Lancker has always described as woefully low.

Let’s turn that around this time.

After all, the whole point of having a special election was to give voters a voice.

Using that voice at the polls is the right thing to do.

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