If you’re a Republican, you have a big election coming up on Tuesday, Sept. 9. If you’re a Democrat, not so much, although it’s good to keep in practice by exercising one of our most hallowed privileges as a U.S. citizen. And if you’re undeclared, this is your chance to choose which party ticket you want to vote – but remember, if you don’t change back to undeclared after casting your ballot, you’ll be listed in the future under the party that you chose.
The big election, of course, will come in November, when we will choose our next governor, U.S. senator, and Congressperson, as well as state representatives, state senator, and state executive councilor, along with various county offices.
But if you vote GOP, the contested races on the Republican ticket give you an opportunity to have your viewpoint represented when it comes to who goes on the ballot in November. We hope votes will be cast in favor of a candidate because of his or her views, rather than who might have the best chance to win over a Democrat. In the long run, how the winner in November represents you is what matters.
So while you’re still in denial over the end of summer, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the candidates. Do you want a state representative who will vote his or her personal views, who will vote what his or her party orders, or who will represent the broader community? That’s a question we suggest you answer in making your selections. It’s important.
There’s still time to get to know the candidates and ask them questions that matter to you, and if their answer is a pat generality that says nothing, you’ve just gained a valuable piece of information. Don’t get sidetracked by the smiles and the packaging. When there’s no substance, you’ve encountered a candidate who doesn’t deserve your vote.
Just about everyone will promise to cut taxes, support seniors, downsize budgets, build roads. Not many can cite specifics about what they would recommend as a way to do so.
Before every election we tell our readers that voting is a right and a privilege, that people in other countries fight and die for that right – and in the ‘60s, that happened in our own country as well.
So commit to getting off the couch and going to the polls. Your vote counts, but it means so much more if you cast it after throwing aside inflammatory rhetoric and making a decision based on facts.