We may be looking at a winter storm by the time you read this, but the curious TX spring voting season is here in force.
Signs are popping out of the dormant landscape in their full and colorful regalia. Before next month’s article, the spring primaries will be complete. Here are a couple reasons why it is so important to participate in primaries.
We all know that voting is an important right of any free people. Participating is a civic duty we all recognize. But some might say, most of us make an effort to vote in the major elections but the small ones don’t matter as much, right? Actually… it’s the opposite!
In the last midterm election, looking at election results from Denton County, ~83 partisan primary races were held for county, state and federal places on the ballot between 143 candidates. By the time the general election was held, there were 34 contested races and only 5 remained that were close to competitive (within 5%).
Bottom line, the real impact of your vote on the people who will represent you is many, many times greater in a primary vs. the general election. With such strong majorities in most races, the general election looks more like a victory lap for the majority candidate.
Besides the impact of the primary, fewer people vote in primaries, increasing the power of every vote. In 2018, 10% of citizens in Denton County voted in the primaries while 30% voted in the general election.
When you vote in a primary, your importance to every official running in your area increases dramatically. Voter participation is public record, although who you vote for is secret. If you vote in the primary, you reserve the maximum influence for the issues you care about no matter who you voted for from those running to represent you.
One more point about election voting in general. In order to help your candidate, it is important to vote early. The earlier you vote, the less they spend turning out the vote and reaching out to you to encourage you to do so. Limited resources need to be focused on the undecided voters. If you know who you want to vote for, do so the first day the polls open. This year’s early voting starts February 14. See you there!