EDITOR, Daily News:

Behind the banners, signs, and flurry of advertisements is a humble American tradition. Elections are infrequent opportunities in our lives where we can come together as a community and affirm the values that we hold to be most important and true. Elections are times where we decide who we are and how we want things to be in the future.

So, who is Ketchikan? Ketchikan is a community of hard workers and hard thinkers. We’re business people, fishermen, and loggers. We’re stewards of our natural resources and stewards of our children’s futures. And while we might have different visions for this community, what we do share is a common resolve to figure out the best way forward for us all.

The primary election, to be held on Tuesday, Aug. 18, is part of that process whereby we figure out how to move forward. While my name won’t be on the primary ballot, I encourage and invite everyone to vote in the primary election. This primary is particularly important as our district’s senator likely will be decided by the primary results. Whatever vision for our community that you hold, it is crucial that you vote and that you vote your values.

While the deadline to request an absentee ballot for the primary election has already passed, there are still a range of opportunities to vote. If you requested an absentee ballot you can submit it by mail, in person, or electronically. Further, early voting is already underway. There’s also the general election on Nov. 3, where my name will be on the ballot as an Independent candidate. If you have not automatically been registered to vote when you filed for your PFD, there’s still time to do so before the general election. More information can be found at the Alaska Division of Elections website: https://elections.alaska.gov.

REP. DAN ORTIZ

House District 36

Ketchikan