Washington County leaders say this is an historic opportunity for voters, because they will be able to help decide the future of local government.By Briana Smith

WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) — As people in Washington County head to the polls to cast their ballots in today’s elections, there’s a yes-or-no question on those ballots that could confuse voters.

Washington County leaders say this is a historic opportunity for voters because they will be able to help decide the future of local government.

When voters fill out their ballots today, there will also be the option to vote on whether or not they want to form a Government Study Commission.

This Commission will study and evaluate the current County government, and then consider whether to adopt a different form, or a home rule charter, which allows the local municipality to create its own government.

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Voters will also select 11 people out of 51 candidates to serve on the commission.

The County’s Elections Director says this is a big moment for voters to weigh in.

“The ultimate goal of a Government Study Commission is to determine if our existing government can be strengthened or made more accountable to the people, or whether its operations can become more economical and efficient under a changed form of government,” said Melanie Ostrander.

If elected, Commission members will examine the current government, decide the best alternatives, and present it to voters.

Voters will then have the chance to weigh in on that alternative in another election.