In both Kansas and Missouri today (also Michigan and Washington state), we’re holding primary elections. Several more states are holding them later in August.

In Kansas, we just received wonderful news, thanks to a wise judge who actually cares about the Constitution: Approximately 18,000 voters, whose local and state votes would have been excluded by an unjustifiable law, now will have their votes counted.

Where do people get the idea that primary elections don't matter?

Where do people get the idea that primary elections don’t matter?

But I’m haunted by the question: how many of them will actually bother to vote? Many people seem to think primaries aren’t all that important. Especially on the local level, they couldn’t be more wrong.

I’m frustrated by the fact that only ultra-conservative right-wing voters seem to have grasped this simple fact. They turn out in force, even for low-voter-turnout primary elections. Perhaps especially for those, because they know how important they are. In much of straight-party-ticket Kansas, the winner of the election is decided in the Republican primary.

Kansans certainly have no excuse for ignorance on this matter. Primary-election victories by hard-right-wing candidates have led us down the path of fiscal destruction in recent elections. The coffers are empty in “Brownbackistan,” and we’ve had our credit rating downgraded twice–but only a hardy handful in Topeka seem to care. We need to make them ALL care. 

Don't sit this--or any election--out, and assume "it doesn't matter." It does.

Don’t sit this–or any election–out, and assume “it doesn’t matter.” It does.

Do not be deceived. Elections–all elections, including primaries–matter. And your vote may be only one vote, but elections have turned on only a few votes. Don’t leave it to chance, or figure (God help us!) “it doesn’t matter who’s in office.”

If you don’t vote, you can’t legitimately complain, although few people let that stop them. But if you do vote–maybe you won’t have so much to complain about later. Why don’t you give it a try? Educate yourself, and vote! Please!

IMAGES: Many thanks to Michigan’s WILX Channel 10 for the “Primary Elections” graphic, and to Texas GOP Vote (See? They get it!) for the “Your Vote Counts” image.