Baker City is in a three-way race, and about halfway through we’re pretty far out ahead.

But one competitor is still within view, and could start closing the distance any time.

The uncertainty has to do with the nature of this contest to claim a grant to help build an all-abilities playground at Geiser-Pollman Park.

The winner will be determined by online voting through 5 p.m. on March 20.

Which means a concerted campaign could yield an immense number of votes almost immediately, given the ubiquity of the internet.

It also means Baker residents need to continue to be diligent both in voting themselves — you can do so once per day — and in encouraging others, wherever they live, to do the same.

As of this morning, Baker City had about 32,070 votes. Its nearest competitor, Prineville, had 23,400. The third entrant, Independence, had 10,600.

The winner in the Moda Assist contest will receive an estimated $35,000 to $40,000. The actual amount depends on how many assists the Portland Trail Blazers amass during the regular season, which ends in April.

Baker City officials say the grant would cover about half the cost to add an all-abilities playground at Geiser-Pollman Park.

That would be a wonderful addition to the play structure that was installed in May 2014, ensuring that kids of all abilities could enjoy Baker City’s biggest park.

You can vote by going to www.nba.com/blazers/assist.

And remember — you can vote once per day.

— Jayson Jacoby, Baker City Herald editor

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