The Political Landscape, Part 2

Article by Gary Kent

Voter Registration:

In order to vote in a primary, such as that held by the Republican Party on September 13, you must be enrolled and registered as a member of the party holding the primary. Only registered republicans were permitted to vote in the September 13th republican primary for Sheriff. To vote in a democratic primary, you would have to be a registered democrat.

Though more and more people are registering with other parties, doing so often means you have less say in who gets a major party line on the November ballot. When we look back on 2015, we may conclude that the September 13th republican primary was the key to the November election. Election day is set by the Federal Constitution.

As of April, 2015, there were approximately 10,100 registered republicans and 5,300 registered democrats in Orleans County. About 6,600 were registered with other parties or as “blanks.” In every town, there are hundreds of unregistered potential voters. Recall that, in the republican Primary in September, Randy Bower defeated Tom Drennan by 21 votes!

Even so, though registering to vote takes about three minutes, many people believe voting doesn’t matter, so they do not register. If the idea that voting doesn’t matter is your excuse, you won’t matter—to many of the legislators who decide whether, or not, for example, the sales tax on home heating fuel should be responsibly eliminated.

One of the best ways for you to influence the political process is to get on a political committee. There are towns in Orleans where the Democratic Party has no committee. Though people are needed in every town, the need is greatest in Yates, Ridgeway and Murray. In nearly every town there are openings for interested democrats who wish to contribute to more representative government. Taking a little time to get involved in the process of finding and electing the best people to run for elective office is not really asking too much of ourselves. The level of your involvement and the amount of time you spend is up to you. Committee persons from the various towns get together at County committee meetings. County meetings are normally monthly, but attendance is not mandatory at this point.

Would Marco Rubio have thought the following question was out of line? How can you expect voters to take you seriously when you said during the first republican candidate debate that democrats take the position they take on climate change because, “they want to destroy the economy”?