SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Today, you have the chance to see over candidates for Springfield mayor, city council, and the Springfield public school board all in one place.

A non-partisan student-run organization from Ozarks Technical Community College is hosting a candidate forum tonight at 5:30 p.m.

Politically Active, the student-run organization, hopes to inform as many OTC students and members of the community as they can ahead of the April 4 election. 

According to NPR, 27% of voters ages 18 to 29 voted in the last midterm elections. While that may not seem like a high number, it is one of the higher turnouts in recent years.

There are over 200,000 people registered to vote in Greene County but only 13% of people in the county voted during 2021’s local election.

Greene County’s top election official, Shane Schoeller, and I discussed the importance of being an informed voter.

Schoeller says April elections are a great opportunity for first-time voters to learn more about who is running for what position in their city.

“That is always essential,” Schoeller said. “Make sure you know the issues — be informed. There are a lot of resources out there that different groups, as well as the candidates, are going to put out there for the voters to be able to learn more about why that candidate running; the issues they are running on.”

According to OTC, there are 14 candidates running for these races and every single candidate is scheduled to attend the candidate forum tonight.

The event will be held at Lincoln Hall in room 211 at the Springfield OTC campus.