It’s amazing how many U.S. citizens who are qualified to vote do not know the basic rules and requirements. I used to work at the Princeton Borough (home of Princeton University) voting polls, and witnessed it for myself during many elections. Democrats in particular were always coming into the wrong precinct, and demanding to vote when they were not even registered at ours. And then, I would have to do research for them on the spot to discover where their correct polling places were. Republicans never had that problem, because they were always the most informed voters.
IF YOU ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE, YOU WILL RECEIVE A SAMPLE BALLOT at your mailing address. It will tell you who is running for each position on the ballot, and WHERE TO VOTE. DO NOT TOSS YOUR SAMPLE BALLOT INTO THE RECYCLABLE BIN UNTIL YOU HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD IT. THAT IS YOUR DUTY AS A VOTING CITIZEN. DON’T JUST RUN INTO ANY POLLING PLACE AND DEMAND TO VOTE–IT HAS TO BE THE RIGHT ONE, OR YOU WILL LOOK LIKE AN IGNORAMUS.
BE INFORMED ABOUT THE VOTING PROCESS, ITS RULES AND REQUIREMENTS. The important ones to know right now are:
YOU MUST REGISTER TO VOTE BEFORE THE ELECTION, USUALLY TWO MONTHS PRIOR TO THAT DAY. CHECK WITH YOUR STATE ELECTION BOARD OR THE COUNTY CLERK WHERE YOU LIVE.
THE “GENERAL ELECTION” (Nov. 8th) DOES NOT REQUIRE YOU TO VOTE FOR A CERTAIN PARTY ONLY. YOU ARE FREE TO VOTE FOR ANY ONE CANDIDATE PER OFFICE. EVEN IF YOU ARE A REGISTERED DEMOCRAT, YOU CAN VOTE FOR A REPUBLICAN IN THE GENERAL ELECTION, AND VICE-VERSA.
“PRIMARY ELECTIONS” ARE STATE-WIDE, AND EACH STATE HAS ITS OWN RULES FOR THEM. MOST STATES REQUIRE PRIMARY VOTERS TO REGISTER UNDER A PARTY-AFFILIATION. THAT MEANS WHEN REGISTERING TO VOTE, YOU DECLARE WHICH POLITICAL PARTY YOU WISH TO JOIN. THEN, BY VOTING IN YOUR PARTY’S PRIMARY, YOU HELP YOUR PARTY CHOOSE ITS CANDIDATE.
“OPEN” PRIMARIES ARE A NEW SCHEME, IN WHICH MEMBERS OF THE OPPOSING PARTY CAN HELP YOU CHOOSE A LOSER TO RUN AGAINST THEIR CANDIDATE. THAT IS A FLAWED, CYNICAL CONCEPT WHICH OUGHT TO BE ELIMINATED FROM AMERICAN POLITICS. IT WAS INSTITUTED BY DEMOCRATS WHO SIMPLY TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THE FACT THAT THEIR CONSTITUENTS DIDN’T UNDERSTAND THE PRIMARY PROCESS, AND WOULD VOTE ANY WAY THE PARTY ASKED THEM TO. SABOTAGING THE OPPOSING PARTY IS NOW AN OFFICIAL DEMOCRAT TRADITION. PRIMARY ELECTIONS ARE FOR MEMBERS OF A POLITICAL PARTY TO CHOOSE THEIR CANDIDATE. SO, IF MEMBERS OF OTHER PARTIES ARE ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE, THE PURPOSE IS DEFEATED.
IF YOU’D LIKE TO VOTE IN A PRIMARY ELECTION: TO PLAY IT SAFE, CALL YOUR COUNTY CLERK, OR BOARD OF ELECTIONS, TO REGISTER TO VOTE UNDER YOUR PREFERRED PARTY FOR THE PRIMARY ELECTIONS–THAT WAY, DEPENDING ON YOUR STATE’S ELECTION RULES, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO VOTE IN YOUR PARTY’S PRIMARY ELECTION. NOTE: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO CHOOSE A PARTICULAR POLITICAL PARTY AFFILIATION WHEN YOU REGISTER TO VOTE–YOU CAN FOREVER REMAIN “UNF” or UNAFFILIATED (INDEPENDENT), AND SOME STATES EVEN INCLUDE “INDEPENDENT” AS A PARTY-AFFILIATION CHOICE. AND YOU CAN CHANGE PARTIES ANYTIME BY CALLING YOUR LOCAL ELECTION BOARD OR COUNTY CLERK.
YOU MUST BE AN OFFICIAL UNITED STATES CITIZEN TO REGISTER TO VOTE.
©Jeanne de M. de St. A, 2016