Week 32: In Defense of Primaries

Think of 10 random strangers sitting near you in a restaurant. Now, imagine letting two of them order your meal. Probably not a good idea, right? Now picture those same two random people deciding our tax rates, how much we’ll pay teachers or law enforcement, where we’ll put the next local park or when we’ll maintain our roads. That’s even crazier, but that is exactly what we do if we do not not vote in every election. Primaries are MY FAVORITE part of the election cycle, but voter turnout hovers around a painful 20% in many non-presidential races . Primary elections are wonderful, and here’s why:

(Also, if you don’t know what a primary is, checkout this wiki page.)

Primaries have candidates who share your convictions.

Whether we are Tea Partiers or  #FeelTheBern, we often feel candidates chosen to run in the general election do not represent us. That’s what happens when only 2 out of 10 voters participate in primaries. A variety of candidates from every walk of life, with beliefs scattered across the political spectrum, runs for office in the primaries. From this variety, we can pick the candidate that represents us best. Are you a Libertarian Environmentalist or a Progressive Fiscal Conservative? Let your voice be heard. Vote in the primaries.

Primaries have candidates that are not career politicians.

Diversity is an intrinsic part of primary elections. Citizens from every walk of life, desiring to be public servants and not just career politicians, throw their hat in the ring to represent you. Soccer coaches, entrepreneurs, single parents, teachers, grocery store clerks and policemen are just a few examples of the people you’ll see running for office in a local primaries. Are you interested in finding a candidate who truly desires to serve the community? Do your research and vote in the primaries.

Primaries are often decided by a handful of votes.

A recent Manatee County primary was decided by 4 votes. FOUR! Less than a handful of voters can make or break a campaign. This is why I will continue to beat the drum that every vote in every election matters.

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