Individuals rightfully act on their freedom of speech via social media — but we should all act on the power bestowed on us to choose our government leaders on election day.

Tuesday presents another opportunity for voters to let their voices be heard with McAlester municipal elections for the posts of mayor and city council seats in Wards 1, 3 and 5.

McAlester Mayor John Browne seeks reelection to a four-year term against challengers Jimmy Plummer and Steven W. Belcher. Ward 1 Councilor Weldon Smith is running for reelection against former city council and acting mayor Greg Rock and Jimmy Vaughn. Joey Clark and Steven Cox are the candidates running for the Ward 3 seat. Billy Jack Boatright and Brian Smith are running for the Ward 5 seat.

Voters can check out our election coverage in our paper editions from the last few weeks and look online at We encourage everyone to learn where each candidates stands on as many issues possible to make the most informed decision at the ballot box.

We held a candidate forum recently to offer voters a chance to learn more about the candidates (you can check out the livestream on our Facebook page). We printed questions and answers with candidates on issues specific to the city. We covered other events where candidates spoke on issues.

It is important to be informed before heading to the ballot box — but the most important thing is to actually go vote.

Our country is known as the freest in the world partially because we, the people, have the power to pick our elected officials.

So although people argue on Facebook about potential solutions to aging infrastructure in our city or how to bring in new business — those changes are made possible by voting for the candidate we believe best represents our beliefs.

Some might think their vote won't amount to anything. But not long ago, a local school bond proposition failed by a single vote. Several local and state elections have also been determined by narrow margins in recent years.

Every vote matters. Your beliefs matter. So whether you want things to change or stay on course, make your voice be heard by logging off and going to the ballot box.

• McAlester News-Capital Editorial Board

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