Nurturing creativity with art, animals, and science fiction

Tag: voting importance

We voted in Johnson County and got this sticker

Why we voted Tuesday in Johnson County, Kansas

We voted Tuesday in Johnson County, Kansas.

Well, a few of us did. We only met a handful of neighbors at the polls, and the poll workers almost seemed startled to see us. After all, it was a pretty tiny ballot. We had just three votes to cast, in an obscure little election to narrow down the number of our local community college’s Board of Trustees. Really, a very tiny election. 

Here's a closeup of the oval sticker each voter was offered when we voted Tuesday. It says, "I Voted in Johnson County."
Each voter is offered a sticker. (Johnson County Post)

But we voted Tuesday in Johnson County, Kansas.

My whole family voted (except for the one who’s in the hospital unexpectedly). In spite of the heat (“feels like” 95° F/35° C), and really heavy humidity. In spite of being tired and too busyIn spite of having to stop work and make a special tripIn spite of the fact that we had to wade through a lotta names, most of which we’d never heard before. Do a bit of digging to find out anything about the candidates. 

But we made sure we voted Tuesday in Johnson County, Kansas.

A lot of people act as if primaries are not important. Those tiny little ballots, those obscure little elections, those trifling local races–what do those matter? Better to wait for the big, headliner elections, when your vote really matters. Right? 

Why on Earth should we make sure we voted Tuesday in Johnson County, Kansas? It’s silly. Right?

Here's a line of the voting machines we use in Johnson County. They create a paper ballot as a backup, for election security.
Johnson County voting machines create a paper ballot voters can check. (Tammy Ljungblad/Kansas City Star)

Wrong. Primaries are where political careers get their start. Primaries are where major policy decisions are made. And primaries, being small-scale elections, are where each and every vote counts more than anywhere else. You get more “bang for your vote” in a primary than you ever could in a general election.

I learned it’s important to make certain we vote in elections like Tuesday, in Johnson County, Kansas.

For most of my adult life, I have voted with an official “R” for Republican by my name, for two reasons. First, in Kansas we have closed primariesOnly voters who have declared a party affiliation may vote in that party’s primary. Second, for most of my adult life, in Johnson County (and much of Kansas), the Republican candidate ran unopposed in the general election. I declared myself to be a Republican (If you read this blog, you’ll realize I’m therefore beyond RINO), because I was determined to vote in the elections where the decisions were made.

That’s what set the pattern, and made made sure we voted Tuesday in Johnson County, Kansas.

This photo shows the elegant, modern-neoclassical entrance to the Administration Building of Johnson County Community College, with a crowd of students on its front step.
The entrance to our local Johnson County Community College. (file photo/Kansas City Star)

By the way, that teeny-tiny little primary for our local community college? It was contest to chart the of our local educational institution. Would they take a conservative approach and keep the incumbents, or would they try a more progressive approach?

That’s why we made sure we voted Tuesday in Johnson County, Kansas.

IMAGE CREDITS: Many thanks to the Shawnee Mission Post, for the photo of the “I Voted in Johnson County” sticker. And thanks also to the Kansas City Star, for the photos of Johnson County’s voting machines in action (photographed by Tammy Ljungblad), and the JCCC entrance.

VOTE like your life depends on it! (Because it just might)

Elected officials make policy decisions that affect everyone–sometimes in life-or-death ways. Don’t let the big-money guys fool you into thinking your vote doesn’t count.

The only way for your vote not to count is not to vote!

Voting Matters
IMAGE: Many thanks to Join the Coffee Party Movement‘s Facebook page, for this image!

Of PRIMARY importance!

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.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén