Hobart High School graduation

Hobart High School graduates toss their caps in the air during their 2017 commencement ceremony.

Jonathan Miano, The Times

Whether you're for or against the pending school referendums in Hobart and Hammond, don't allow poor voter turnout to hold sway over the results at today's polls in those two cities.

Last week, our editorial board encouraged residents in those two municipalities to support the respective referendums as an investment in long-term viability and quality of public education.

But whether you agree with us isn't really the issue. Regardless of their stances, Hammond and Hobart residents are obligated — as citizens — to cast their ballots on the issue.

In Hobart, school officials are asking residents to approve two separate referendums, one that would generate $2 million annually for six years in new operating funds for classroom programs and student transportation needs. The other would raise $41 million in capital funds for building a new elementary school and constructing a high school swimming pool.

In Hammond, school officials are seeking approval of one referendum that would generate $70 million in total operating costs while another would garner $110.6 million for capital improvements.

We ask that residents see these referendums as an opportunity for investing in one of the most important quality-of-life factors in any community.

Regardless, if you live in Hobart or Hammond, you have both a privilege and a duty to vote. If you haven't already done so through early voting, don't forget to visit the polls between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Locate your polling location through the Lake County government website, https://www.lakecountyin.org by clicking on the "Election and Voter Registration Board" link.

There's no place for apathy on this important issue of both taxpayer expense and community investment.

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Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Editorial Page Editor Marc Chase, Editor Bob Heisse, Politics/History Editor Doug Ross and Managing Editor Erin Orr.