Editorial….Your primary responsibility? Vote!Ah, summertime, and the livin’ is easy. These days are all about long, hot days at the beach, napping in the hammock on a lazy afternoon, toasting s’mores around the campfire and voting. Voting?
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
Ah, summertime, and the livin’ is easy. These days are all about long, hot days at the beach, napping in the hammock on a lazy afternoon, toasting s’mores around the campfire and voting.
Yes, it’s still a bit hard to adjust to the fact that Minnesota’s primary election is no longer held in September any longer, but rather on Aug. 14 – high summer. Many other states, in fact, have already held their state primaries by this time, and the successful candidates are well on their way to positioning themselves for the General Election in November. And as much sense as that makes, it’s still difficult to wrap your mind around the change and adjust your summer vacation schedule so it doesn’t conflict with this very important phase of the electoral process.
For some folks, the fact that voting in the primary might require coming in from the lake early (or heading out there later), or possibly even rearranging a pre-planned vacation, is enough to discourage them from bothering to vote. For others, a cloud of misunderstanding surrounds the primaries, since each state is free to set its own guidelines on who can vote in a primary election and how that vote is cast. Once again, rather than take the time to find out that information, many would sooner bypass the opportunity altogether, thinking a vote in the general election is enough. But it’s not.
Essentially, a primary election is an election that narrows the field of candidates before the general election. The state of Minnesota subscribes to the “open primary” philosophy, which does not require a qualified voter to be a registered member of a specific political party in order to vote, but does mandate that each person vote a straight ticket – you have to vote for candidates within the same party – once he or she is inside the voting booth.
That’s all there is to it, and what’s at stake are the weighty decisions regarding which candidates will represent your way of thinking in the November election. Basically, one candidate in each contested race goes away and the other stays on the ballot. It would be a shame if a highly qualified candidate were eliminated at this stage of the process because his or her supporters didn’t bother to get out and vote that day.
If you do have to be out of the area on Aug. 14, or are unable to get to the polling place for some other valid reason, absentee voting is available through Monday, Aug. 13. For more information, contact the office of Carlton County Auditor/Treasurer Paul Gassert at 218-384-9127 or visit the Secretary of State’s website at www.sos.state.mn.us/election/register.html.
Make this the summer you step up to the plate – both at the company picnic and your local polling place.